Seahawks Insider

A few minutes with Richard Sherman

Post by Eric Williams on Aug. 9, 2011 at 10:11 pm with 8 Comments »
August 9, 2011 10:11 pm

From receiver to cornerback

A Stanford graduate, Richard Sherman played three years at receiver before switching over to defense his senior year, showing enough in 2010 to get drafted in the fifth round by the Seattle Seahawks.

Sherman, 21, has been as good as advertised in camp so far, and is in a competitive battle among a young group of corners for a spot on the final roster.

So how much did playing receiver help the transition to cornerback?

“It helped a tremendous amount,” Sherman said. “Because there’s a lot of subtle things at receiver that you wouldn’t know playing defensive back, not ever being on the offensive side of the ball – splits, alignments, releases and things like that – that you may learn on defense, but you don’t know why they’re doing it.”

Sherman went on to say his time at receiver has helped him now that’s he’s a defensive back in match up with all different types of receivers.

“You just have to know who you’re going against, and know their strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “Some guys are more laterally quick and some are strong, and you can’t really get your big hands on them because they’ll get physical with you.

“And some guys like (Ricardo) Lockette can just run, so you have to kind of find a way to slow them down and get into their route to make sure you can control their speed and pace.”

Bump and run

One of the reasons Seattle drafted Sherman is because, at 6-3, 195 pounds with long arms, head coach Pete Carroll felt that he would be an ideal fit for Seattle’s press cover scheme, where the cornerback plays bump-and-run coverage at the line of scrimmage, and then turns and runs with the receiver.

Sherman says that so far the scheme has been a perfect match with his skill set.

“I didn’t expect them to let me play press like they have every down,” Sherman said. “That was a very good thing for me. I’m very happy about that. I’m very happy about the opportunities they’re giving me, and the reps that I’m getting to run with the ones and the twos, and sometimes the threes. I’m just getting a lot of reps out there, and a lot of chances to show what I can do.”

The gift of gab

Sherman isn’t shy. A communications major at Stanford, Sherman said he wouldn’t mind pursing a job in the media as a TV or radio personality down the road once his playing days are over.

“That’s what I’m really hoping to do,” he said. “I have a lot of fun doing it. I love talking ball. I love commentating. I love talking period. It would be a great living.”

He’s also been one of the rookies regularly talking trash with veteran receivers like Mike Williams.

“That’s just how I am,” he said. “That’s kind of been me forever. On game days I don’t really talk too much, but out here you’ve got to kind of keep it lively. You’ve got to keep everybody into it, and it’s fun.”

Working with the vets

Sherman says he’s learned a lot working with veteran cornerbacks Marcus Trufant and Kelly Jennings the first few weeks of camp.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” he said. “They’ve helped me more than they’ll ever know with just the subtle insights they give you, technique and how to use your hands. And what receivers are looking at, and what you should be looking at with hips, splits and stuff like that. It’s been great.

Leave a comment Comments → 8
  1. Soggybuc says:

    “And his hair was perfect!”

    One thing about this guy that goes beyond the physical skills is that as a Stanford grad you know beyond a doubt he has it between the ears. did you notice the reaction he had when E mentioned Lockette? some how they got to keep Ricardo in the fold.

  2. williambryan says:

    Man, I really wish they CBA would have extended the rosters to 60 players (53 active)

  3. seatowntp says:

    It’s unfortunate that they can’t expand the active roster to 60 players. It seems as though there will be some quality prospects cut from this Seahawks team. On the bright side, there will likely be some quality prospects cut from other teams that PC / JS may gobble up!

  4. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Soggybuc- I agree! And he is only 21.
    Most of the hype before training camp was about the other DBs that the Seahawks drafted. Turns out so far that they new what they were doing by drafting Sherman ahead of the others.
    I really thought that this guy would be the steal of the draft, and so far he has passed my expectations. And to top that off he is humble and thankfull for the help that he is getting from Jennings and Trufant
    Despite Jennings short cummings ( lol ) he would be pro bowl material if he had Shermans body!
    How has Legree been doing? Does anyone know?.

  5. Dukeshire says:

    “… get into the route and make sure you control the speed.” That’s an amazing comment about the nuance of playing corner. And I’m sure coming from receiver and not having to think about why a guy is split outside or inside the numbers, and what route concepts are available to him from those positions, frees him up to just react and focus on his own technique.

    Good interview Eric. San Diego has some big receivers, will be fun tomorrow night.

  6. With the way Trufant’s contract balloons by a couple million next year, it seems almost natural for Sherman to be getting his feet wet this year and taking over next year if this development continues the way we hope it does.

  7. raymaines says:

    Ah yes, Marcus Trufant, a nine year career with the SeaHawks – as in not ten. Love ya man, have a good life.

    Do ya’ll remember that Troy Polamalu was drafted #16 and Nnamdi Asomugha was drafted #31 behind #11 MT in 2003? Do you suppose Pittsburgh or Philadelphia would give us either of those guys and a low round 2012 draft pick for Marcus Trufant now?

  8. I loved watching this kid in his games Stanford! Ver psyched when we drafted him and with his athleticism I was surprised he lasted until the 5th round.

    I would think all the young players should be on the field in the second half on Thursday. Its like Christmas once again.

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