San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman isn’t able to participate on the field during OTAs as a precaution taken by the team with his recovery from a torn Achilles last November. That hasn’t kept him from being very involved with the team as a coach and mentor. He was very involved in drills as well as coaching up the secondary in 11-on-11s.
Here’s more of @RSherman_25 working with the secondary during #49ers OTA drills. He was very involved during the entire practice offering positive feedback to players when they made great plays or showed great coverage. pic.twitter.com/OexqcC7CeE— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) May 22, 2018
Sherman hustled back and forth shown in the video above to throw the football to teammates in footwork drills. He also stood near the secondary during 11-on-11s and yelled congratulations to players that had PBUs (pass break ups), getting the entire defense riled up. He would jog over to players for a low five after a great play as well as yelling things like, “That was some good ass coverage” to Emmanuel Moseley when the ball wasn’t thrown his way because of his coverage.
Sherman has not only been vital at the team facility but he has encouraged the young secondary to bond together with activities off the field including dinners, go-kart racing and bowling. Ahkello Witherspoon reports that the gatherings are not only fun but also very competitive, and Sherman has footed the bill for it all. Witherspoon explains why that’s so important:
I think back in Seattle that’s what they had that was so special, it was such a close group. So he comes here and he understands that kind of relationship between players is what builds championships and that’s what we’re trying to obtain.
Prior to Sherman’s arrival, the team had lacked a vocal veteran leader on the roster. The only tenured players that remain from the previous regimes are Joe Staley who is more of a “lead by example” type of player, as is Garrett Celek.
DeForest Buckner remarks that Sherman’s leadership doesn’t just happen in the secondary room, it’s felt throughout the defense and the team:
Sherman’s a great guy. He gets along with everybody. He’s very approachable. When he talks, everybody listens. That’s the kind of respect everyone has for him in the locker room. His presence alone is real strong and we can’t wait for him to get back out there. We are definitely going to feed off his energy. Our team is pretty young. There’s a couple of veterans that we let go of last season so our team is pretty young, especially on defense, so having a veteran guy like that, with the resume he has, come in, he’s going to do a really good job helping us lead this team and put us in the right direction.