Seahawks fans, Richard Sherman has something he would like to tell you: “Don’t ever disrespect me!” That’s the message he’s been sending to the league since he burst on the scene stealing a long pass away from Cincinnati Bengals’ all-everything rookie WR AJ Green.
Sherman and his fellow rookie and Stanford alumnus Doug Baldwin have been outspoken all season long that “even nerds can play football,”and they’re right.
These two guys have had gigantic chips on their shoulders since the first day they were allowed to report to Seahawks camp this summer following the NFL lockout, and they’ve done nothing since then but prove beyond any doubt that they belong in the NFL just as much as any guy drafted in the top 10 of any draft in the last decade at least.
I could spend an hour singing the praises of both of these fine young men, but that steals at least one article from me so from here out this is all about number 25.
When Marcus Trufant went down with injury Seahawk fans as a whole were mostly worried about our secondary. The memory of Mike Wallace burning Brandon Browner deep was still fresh in our minds and with the longest tenured Seahawk and only true veteran presence in the secondary out for the season things weren’t looking good. “At least we still have Thurmond right?”was the prevailing line of thought amongst the 12th man.
Then the unthinkable happened. Walter Thurmond went down with an injury himself. All of the sudden the sky was falling in Kirkland and visions of 500yd passing days were dancing in the heads of NFC West quarterbacks. Little did we know, we have Richard Sherman.
A solid special teams contributor up to this point, Sherman was seen by most as a raw project that due to his size might have trouble in deep coverage. Wow, were we ever wrong, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Since sliding into the starting rotation opposite Brandon Browner, Sherman has done nothing except shut his side of the field down, and with the sort of style that only a kid from Compton California that turned down Pete Carroll and the USC juggernaut to go to Stanford as an example for other kids at his high school can provide. Not a week has gone by where he didn’t make some sort of huge contribution to the team’s chances of victory.
There was the pick against Cincinnati in a game where he came away telling the world that AJ Green is all hype and bad routes. Something that Green himself later came out and all but admitted. He crashed down forcing Dez Bryant to cough up a fumble on the goal line. He had one INT against the Redskins and their “Sex Cannon” QB in a game that I was at and I’ll be quite honest wish I could forget about. While he didn’t have a turn-over credited to him on Sunday Night Football, his deflection of a potential TD pass to Jason Avant complete with the “Mutombo Finger Wag” was a thing of beauty and accompanied with the Sherman attitude that we’re growing quite fond of.
For the season Football Outsiders ranks Seattle’s pass defense 16th overall. In itself that isn’t so great, however if you break it down further (which the nice people at FO do for us, they’re so awesome that way) you will see that we rank 6th over all against both number 1 and number 2 WR’s, 10th against other WR’s, 16thagainst TE’s and 32nd against HB’s/FB’s. That tells me that our CB’s and Sherman especially are doing their job as well as anyone else in the league. Good to great down-field coverage has forced QB’s to check it away from their primary reads and dump the ball off to back and TE’s.
With play like this, Sherman is quickly becoming a fan favorite as shown by his 3,800 followers on twitter as @RSherman_25 where fans have learned that in addition to his great play on the field, Sherman is one of the best Seahawks to follow. He has been known to interact quite often with his followers with more than just a response or a re-tweet here and there, but with real conversations. We have learned that not only is he a great football player but he is also a huge nerd. Richard spends many of his days playing role playing video games like Skyrim as well as the normal athlete games like Madden and Call of Duty. Between himself and fellow Stanford “nerd” and good friend Doug Baldwin they have coined their own hash-tag #RevengeoftheNerds to epitomize their and their former Cardinal football team mates’ style. Their never say die, “we’re going to push you around on the field and in the classroom” attitude is one that we should all get used to and enjoy.
The next time you get to go see the Seahawks in person, I urge you all to make signs with #RevengeoftheNerds displayed prominently on them. If Sherman (or Baldwin for that matter) sees them I guarantee they’ll be appreciated.