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Richard Sherman on the secondary issues in 2018: We needed guys to hit the QB

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Sherman believes now that the 49ers have a pass-rush, things will be much different defensively

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The secondary for the San Francisco 49ers have been a hot topic since they didn’t address the position until the sixth round in the 2019 NFL Draft. I don’t think the team needs to sign a safety now that the draft is over. Cornerback Richard Sherman told Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee that the secondary wasn’t an issue last year.

“We’d lose games by a touchdown down the stretch, the last second. It’s not like, ‘Oh man, the secondary was just getting killed the whole game, and that’s why we lost.’ It was just guys’ immaturity, mistakes, just not executing. Not knowing how to finish, not having finishers.”

The immaturity and youth in the secondary were apparent last year. Guys didn’t seem comfortable or confident in what they were asked to do. When the injury bug hits you, that’s what happens. Players are forced to play that probably shouldn’t be out there.

In 2018 the 49ers lost six one-possession games. Tough to win when you can’t get off the field or keep the offense out of the end zone. The Niners defense was 26th in red zone scoring percentage and 21st in opponents third-down rate.

Sherman had no issues saying who was at fault:

“We needed guys to hit (the quarterback) in the face,” Sherman said. “You need a few of them. Now we have guys that can rotate in and rotate out and put pressure.”

He’s not wrong.

General manager John Lynch said, “two things we talked about as soon as we got here was finding a quarterback and finding the people that knock him down.” They traded for Jimmy Garoppolo. One offseason later they traded for Dee Ford and drafted Nick Bosa. Pairing those two with Deforest Buckner, and there’s your pass-rush.

The 2019 season is going to be full of storylines. There are plenty of pieces in place for the 49ers to be successful. There are also a few different things that could happen, and we look back on this season wondering “why didn’t they address this in the offseason?”