There never seems to be a dull moment in the NFL. Even when free agency hasn’t exactly started yet, a major debate has come across the NFL. Many people have weighed their opinion on Richard Sherman and his antics, but it seems to be he is becoming the most misunderstood player in professional sports.
The major comparison is about Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman on who is truly the best cornerback. It seems unfair to truly label Sherman as the best cornerback right now due to Revis having a season ending injury. That being said, Sherman doesn’t deserve all this heat because his play speaks for itself.
I’ve seen many people criticize Sherman for his actions during interviews and social media. You can call him a loud mouth or arrogant but you can’t call him delusional. He has a legitimate case on why he can be called the best cornerback in the NFL. Here are a few components on why Sherman should be more respected rather than ripped upon.
Numbers Still Matter
Usually production for cornerbacks is overrated, since if cornerbacks have many tackles then they are allowing too many completions. Sherman is an exception by posting 12 interceptions and 41 passes defensed in his first two years. Those are numbers that I’m not sure any cornerback can touch.
Now I’m sure those numbers will go down next year because quarterbacks will look to throw opposite his way, but here are more key numbers to look at. According to ProFootballFocus, Sherman allowed only 47.1 percent of passes his way with quarterbacks only having a 41.1 passer rating throwing his way. That is an impressive feat for any cornerback, especially when you look at how easily cornerbacks can be penalized nowadays.
Now he may not be on the level of Revis, especially when Revis allowed a remarkable 36.9 percent of passes his way with quarterbacks only having a 32.3 passer rating against him in 2009 when “Revis Island” was originated. They aren’t very far off either other, which makes 2013 a very intriguing year for both players.
Sherman is a physical specimen being 6’3 and having the ability to match up with any wide receiver. His performance against the Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs was remarkable. Even though he allowed the long touchdown to Roddy White, he still had three passes defensed and shut down an elite receiver like White for most of the game.
Don’t Take His Antics Seriously
I’ve noticed that many people take every comment from any athlete seriously and then they become outraged by it. I used to do that all the time whether it was from football, basketball, or MMA. I was fuming when Rajon Rondo said that the Celtics are the team to beat in the East over Miami or if Chael Sonnen said something ridiculous for the 800th time.
Eventually, you just have to let it go and not take a player’s comments so seriously. Everyone knows that trash talk is a part of any sport, while some players may take it to the extreme compared to others. Most people like to know the inside scoop on player’s feelings towards others, which is why people should appreciate Sherman more.
He is very outspoken, which is something you can’t say about many NFL players. Do I agree with everything he said? Of course not, his comments on Roddy White being easy to cover were silly. He still has every right to say that because he shut him down for the majority of the game when they played in the playoffs.
When you see Sherman and his antics, it reminds me of a young Randy Moss. Moss was very arrogant and charismatic to the point, where you either loved the guy or absolutely hated his guts. From both aspects of ability and character, Sherman is becoming to get on that level.
Some players feed off of being arrogant and having that swagger to make plays. Asante Samuel and Antonio Cromartie are prime examples of that, where they have a certain swagger that contributes to their success. If the player consistently plays at a high level, there shouldn’t be any reason why they can’t voice their own personal opinion.
Why He Truly Is Misjudged
Darrelle Revis is a fantastic player and has shown that he’s the best cornerback in football over the years, but he isn’t exactly the most intelligent guy out there. I’m not sure how much stock you would put into Twitter battles, but there were a few tweets below that made Revis look narrow minded. Here is the entire dialogue between both them.
He was making claims at how people don’t know whom Sherman is and that he’s using Revis name for attention. If Sherman played in a major city like New York, Chicago, or Dallas then I’m sure most people would recognize his face. Is it his fault that he plays for Seattle? They aren’t a big city that is known for football, due to their lack of success in recent years except the 2010-2011 season.
Then Revis kept saying how Sherman isn’t a shutdown corner. Revis has every right to say that he’s the best, but he needs to give Sherman his due. It’s clear that he hasn’t watched a lot of football since his injury, because Sherman showed on a consistent basis that he could stop just about any receiver.
Then if you watch his interview on First Take from yesterday, it’s clear what his agenda is. He wants to be the best cornerback ever to play the game and prides himself on being the best. He shouldn’t have gotten so personal with Bayless, but it’s clear once again how incompetent Bayless is at his job by not watching tape on Sherman.
The people that criticize Sherman’s play simply haven’t watched him enough. If he isn’t in the same discussion as Darrelle Revis, then you need to find a way to watch more of him. He is the complete package when it comes to playing the cornerback position with his cover skills, speed, tackling, and toughness.
It’s rare that a cornerback is going to be up there, as one of the most pressured players going into the season. Sherman has put himself in a position, where he’ll have to live up to the hype. After Seattle’s success last season, I’m expecting them to have plenty of nationally televised games where Sherman will be closely watched.
We will have to wait until December 2013 to decide who is truly the best. Sherman may be on his way to becoming a superstar, but it’ll be on Revis to see if he can regain his form. It’ll be interesting to see if Revis went to the NFC West to play for the 49ers, but according to ESPN and numerous sites that the 49ers didn't have interest in trading for him.
You may love Richard Sherman or hate everything about him, but you need to recognize how good he is. Quarterbacks continued to test him throughout the year and he made them regret it on plenty of occasions. He’s a humble guy that is very confident in his abilities. People should take his talents for granted, because shutdown corners are starting to become a dying breed.