The San Francisco 49ers got to see their entire starting defense on the field in preseason Week 3, and that meant Richard Sherman’s game debut. Sherman recovered from his torn Achilles in sufficient time to practice at the start of training camp, but a hamstring pull sidelined him for the first two preseason games. On Saturday, he started and played a full half, finishing with 32 snaps.
Sherman finished the game with a tackle and a pass break-up. The tackle came in the first quarter on a short pass to T.Y. Hilton where Reuben Foster was in coverage underneath. As Hilton went to the ground, Sherman cut away from his man and got the official tackle (video).
In the second quarter, Sherman was targeted for the only time in the half. Luck was looking for Ryan Grant on a short slant route. Grant was open in front of Sherman, but as the ball came in, Sherman got a hand in to break up the pass.
First target of Richard Sherman is broken up. #49ers pic.twitter.com/y3UdfB65BV— Fourth and Nine (@fourth_nine) August 25, 2018
After the game, Sherman was happy with how things went. He said, “It went pretty good. There were some good plays. There were some other plays that felt rusty on, but overall I felt pretty good. Better than expected.”
Sherman was plenty confident about getting ready to play this week, but after the game, he admitted that he did not know how his body would respond to a heavy workload. The Colts went three and out to open the game, but had back-to-back seven play drives and an 11-play drive. It’s different than what he would see in practice.
“I’m definitely read to roll, but you never know how your body’s gonna respond to a heavy workload of plays. We had some short drives, we had some ten-play, nine-play drives where my body was still holding up well. You never know how your body’s going to respond in a football game when you’re making reactive cuts and putting your body under huge stresses. But it held up pretty well.”
You can watch his postgame press conference above. Here are a few notable quotations from the session.
On wanting to get tested deep: “I would have preferred [getting tested deep]. We went on a long run a few times, but it was play action, they went the other way. But, it is what it is. I’m sure I’ll get my opps soon.”
On not getting tested much: “For the most part, it was covered pretty well. I felt like I covered pretty well. We play a lot of 3 deep, we play a lot of man. I talked to Luck before the game, obviously we go back a long ways, you know he’s still working his way back in, so I knew he’d be pretty conservative in his throwing. He looked really good out there as well.”
On it going better than expected: “I haven’t played football in eight, nine months in a real game, so you never know how you’re gonna hold up in long drives, short drives. In practice, you get four, five plays then you’re out. Every now and then they take you to six, but in a game it could be a three-play drive, it could be a 12-play drive. So I was able to hold up, and being a vet, there were certain plays where I could just kinda just be a veteran, understand the play’s backside, play my man, understand this route is coming, non-athlete is outside, there are a lot of things that you can or recognize to make the game slow.”
On play where Hilton went inside and Sherman turned his back to him: “Well we have a middle field safety watching him, so I‘m only responsible for him in an out-breaker.”
If he wished he’d played more: “No, I felt like I had a good amount of snaps. When I felt like I had my fill, we talked to the coaching staff and shut down.”