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You're probably surprised, and I don't blame you. But here me out—I can make a solid case as to why this kid has the most talent on the entire Seahawks roster. Here's why Sherm is my favorite Seahawk by far.
Fundamental Coverage Skills: We all know that Pete Carroll wants Seattle's big, physical corners to play hard, physical press coverage. Sherman accomplishes this task phenomenally. Off the line, his 6'3" frame knocks receivers off balance. But beyond that, Sherman has incredible hip rotation. Admittedly, I misevaluated Sherman out of college, for I dubbed him rigid and far too nonathletic to play corner. Boy, was I wrong. Sherman fluidly moves his hips to adjust to double moves and maintain excellent single coverage, expertly employs his feet and lower body to establish position on number one receivers and masterfully uses his outside arm to deflect passes, which avoids penalty flags and just plain looks cool. Essentially, Sherman is the poster child for fundamental coverage skills. His mastery of these tools with only two years of college experience really displays Sherman's natural talent.
Fundamental Tackling Skills: Often, when a receiver is in man coverage with a cornerback, the Quarterback or offensive coordinator will have a receiver run a curl route or quick bubble screen route, with the expectation that a good juke or effective spin move will beat the sole defensive back and go for a large gain. Richard Sherman does not miss that tackle. In many situations in 2011, Sherman stopped short passes for minimal gains, because he is a textbook tackler. That isn't to say that Sherman doesn't hit with power. His length allows him to wrap up a receiver, and then the rest of his body pounds the receiver into the dirt. We saw this happen many times last year.
Playmaking Ability: The Sherminator's production really speaks for itself. in 10 starts, Sherman had four interceptions and a forced fumble (a play that really showed just how hard this guy can hit). If that trend were to continue for a full 16 games, Sherman would have between six and seven interceptions along with one or two forced fumbles. Those are pro bowl statistics. Additionally, Sherman was in the top 10 in the entire NFL in pass defenses, despite only starting 10 games. That's pretty remarkable in itself, but there's an even more telling statistic. Before Richard Sherman started, quarterbacks opposing the Seahawks had an extremely high 91.4 passer rating. After Sherman started, that dipped down to a meager 65.9. Richard Sherman doesn't get nearly the credit he deserves for helping the Seahawks' defense establish itself as a top 10 unit.
Ultimately, the statistics tell the story of Sherman's talent. Give this guy a couple years, and he'll be in the same conversation with guys like Darrelle Revis and Nnamdi Asomugha.