When Richard Sherman signed with the San Francisco 49ers there was plenty of resentment. Afterall, this is the guy who had been a thorn in the 49ers side during the Jim Harbaugh era and rubbed several people the wrong way. Given his history, it makes sense why fans were skeptical.
Apparently, 49ers tackle Joe Staley was in the same boat. He was on the Rich Eisen show Thursday and along with praising Kyle Shanahan, had some words for his meeting with Richard Sherman:
“I told him this to his face. He is the exact opposite of what— I thought I was going to hate him, because I hated him in Seattle. He was one of those guys who just got under your skin, but I think that’s what makes him such a great teammate. His ability to rattle the opponent, you’re not going to be upset with a guy who’s not doing his job at the highest level. And he’s been able to do that for years. He’s come right in and he’s taken that mentorship role right now for our defensive back room. We have a really young room besides him. Lot of young guys trying to make their way in the NFL. He’s just been like a second coach out there and really taken that role seriously while he rehabs and he’s looking really good. He was able to do couple of individual drills in the minicamp we just had, so he’s been nothing but great.”
Richard Sherman’s reputation has transformed significantly. Now we laugh when he’s called “Uncle Sherm” and appreciate the coaching he does with the younger players.
It wasn’t always like that. Sherman went out of his way to mock opposing teams, most famously the 49ers following the end of the 2014 NFC Championship game. Following a tipped pass that led to an interception of Colin Kaepernick. Sherman tried called out Crabtree in a post-game rant as well as making choking gestures toward Kaepernick. That’s just one instance, but it shows why Staley wasn’t a fan.
There’s no denying that while many are warming up to Sherman, the site of him in a 49ers jersey is still strange given the history involved, but it’s getting much easier to forget things with the way he’s working with the defensive backs.