Richard Sherman has been one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL over the last seven years. Even in his rookie year with the Seattle Seahawks, Sherman was effective. For the first time in his career, Sherman didn’t record an interception in 2018. Now some look at the San Francisco 49ers best defensive back as an afterthought.
NFL Media’s Peter Schrager thinks otherwise. Here’s what he said about Sherman on “Good Morning Football” Monday morning:
“I think Richard Sherman last year had a really good season,” Schrager said on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Monday. ”The Achilles didn’t seem to bother him all that much. And then when it mattered most, [he] was shutting down the No. 1 wide receivers in the league, and that was with a completely depleted defense and an offense that had an undrafted rookie named Nick Mullens keeping them afloat. I think Richard Sherman [is] still underrated.”
While the secondary will be remembered most for the mental breakdowns and big plays last year, Sherman was still his usual self. Success rate—the percentage of plays where the cornerback was in coverage that did not meet the baseline for offensive success— is a good indicator for cornerback play. If you give up a 13-yard reception on third and 15, you did your job. At the end of the game, it might not look great in the box score, but the success rate helps separate the filler.
Sherman finished with a 60% success rate in 2018, according to Football Outsiders. That ranked seventh among all cornerbacks that had at least 40 targets. Now that the 49ers have a pass rush, and Sherman is healthy, the interceptions should return in 2019.
Communication in the secondary will be crucial.