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Posts tagged with "Richard Sherman"

What are the keys to the game and who will win Sunday’s Week 1 showdown between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks?

Some story lines for today’s Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks showdown:

– The NFC arms race has continued into this week. Seattle signed Sheldon Richardson and Green Bay added three more players after a rare, active offseason. “It’s different. Obviously, there’s some aggressiveness there,” outside linebacker Nick Perry said. “I’m not making the calls, I’m not calling the shots, but you’ve seen new guys and guys that will be able to contribute and help. I think that’s all that everybody wants is for everybody to do a great job — not just a good job. The guys they’ve brought in here, it’s going to truly help this team in the long run.”

– With Richardson, Seattle has the best pass rush in the NFL. How will the Packers counter?

– Ha Ha Clinton-Dix made his NFL debut against Seattle in the 2014 opener. “It actually feels like yesterday,” Clinton-Dix said. He struggled in that game, has become a star since, and wants to show how good he is against Seattle’s elite tandem of safeties.

– Seattle shopped star cornerback Richard Sherman during the offseason. He’s back, but will the Packers even test him given the uncertainty at the other corner spots?

– Aaron Rodgers could make some NFL history with a milestone that quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt said, “I don’t know if it’ll ever be touched.”

– History says today’s game is huge.

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Arizona Cardinals’ Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson is set to welcome star wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the NFC West

Over the last couple of years, Arizona Cardinals’ cornerback Patrick Peterson has found his strongest competition outside of the NFC West. Wideouts he has faced within the division during that time like Doug Baldwin, Kenny Britt, Torrey Smith and Tavon Austin are all good players. They’re certainly not the league’s cream of the crop at the position, however.

A trade made yesterday by the Los Angeles Rams could be the first step in changing all of that. The club acquired Sammy Watkins from the Buffalo Bills, surely getting the attention of Peterson. You can rest assured that the Cards’ six-time Pro Bowler received news of the deal as soon as it went down.

ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 27: Patrick Peterson #21 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts to a pass interference penalty during the first half against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on November 27, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Peterson is an intense competitor, so he has to be thrilled with this brand new challenge placed before him. Unlike Seattle Seahawks’ corner Richard Sherman, the Cardinals’ seventh-year pro’s job is to shadow the opposing team’s best pass-catcher each and every week. In contrast, Sherman only covers the receivers that line up on his side. When comparisons between the two cover guys is made, that fact alone should give Peterson the nod as to who is better (But I digress!).

That being said, it’s a foregone conclusion that Peterson will be everywhere on the football field that Watkins is whenever the two meet. Barring injury, there will be two matchups this upcoming campaign, and hopefully many more for years to come. Perhaps this new rivalry has the potential to mimic the great Aeneas Williams-Michael Irvin battles that fans enjoyed in the 1990’second.

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With one obvious exception, residing in the NFC West should be a big help to the Arizona Cardinals having a bounce-back year

GREENBAY, WI – OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Brian Hoyer #2 of the Chicago Bears drops back to pass against the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter at Lambeau Field on October 20, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

They might not admit it, but the Arizona Cardinals have to know there’s just one team to worry about in their division. At least for the time being, it’s a two-team race for the NFC West crown. On paper, the Cardinals should be able to breeze through at least 25% of their upcoming schedule. (Though division games are never as easy as they appear to be).

The team standing in the Cards’ way is none other than the Seattle Seahawks. Since 2012, Pete Carroll’s crew has been a model of consistency. Their head coach has led them to the playoffs in each of the last five seasons, including two Super Bowl appearances (winning one).

Unfortunately for Arizona, it doesn’t appear that the Seahawks will be going away any time soon. Their franchise did an about-face back in 2012 when they hit the Draft lottery. A third-round pick named Russell Wilson has been a godsend, stealing the starting quarterback job during his first training camp with the squad.

Seattle has also drafted exceptionally well on the defensive side of the ball. Players like Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Bobby Wagner, Kam Chancellor and K.J. Wright have transformed the defense into a ferocious unit. Key free-agent signings like Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril have been big-time contributors as well.

The San Francisco 49ers, on the other hand, have taken a nosedive the last couple of years. They won just seven games during the 2015-16 campaigns combined. It doesn’t figure to get much better for the Niners this season.

They do have a bright, new head coach named Kyle Shanahan. Their current options at quarterback, however, most likely won’t have opposing defensive coordinators losing any sleep at night.

Brian Hoyer, a former Cardinal, is slated to be the opening-day starter. Another ex-Card, Matt Barkley, will be his backup. Aside from the mediocrity of the passers, the rest of the 49ers roster isn’t real impressive either.

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Oct 16, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) defends a pass intended for Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) during the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Atlanta, 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports 

It has been confirmed that the Seattle Seahawks are looking to trade 3-time All Pro cornerback Richard Sherman, and it has been speculated that the Titans have some interest. It would, however, be in their best interest to not make a deal for Sherman. Here are three reasons why.

1. Sherman is a one-trick pony.

Richard Sherman had the best years of his career when playing under former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Quinn, who is now the head coach of the NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons, bases his defensive system around a governing principle of Cover 3.

In Cover 3 defenses, two cornerbacks and one safety play a deep zone coverage while another safety plays close to the line of scrimmage. The deep safety plays a bit of a “centerfield” role, and must often decide which corner needs the most assistance. Sherman’s skill set, especially when he was in his prime, couldn’t have been more perfect for this scheme.

However, when Kris Richard took over as Seattle’s defensive coordinator, Sherman’s play began to decline a bit. Why? Because Richard ran more man coverage than did Quinn. Sherman, an elite Cover 3 corner, is pretty average in man coverage, and struggles especially against smaller wide receivers.

Additionally, Sherman is at his best when he plays on the left side of his defense. There is definitely a place in the NFL for cornerbacks who are only elite at playing deep zone coverage on one side of the field and are average at pretty much all else, but the Titans will have to decide if that place is on their team.

2. Sherman’s value wouldn’t equal that of the compensation.

If the Titans were to be interested in trading for Richard Sherman, they would have to give up one of their two first round picks. More than likely, that pick would end up being #18, as opposed to #5. A better option for the Titans would be to use one of their first round picks on a rookie cornerback instead of trading for Sherman.

When in his prime, Sherman was perhaps the best corner in the NFL. His aforementioned ball skills and blanketing coverage ability made opposing quarterbacks consistently throw in directions other than Sherman’s. However, Sherman is no longer that player. He is no longer in his prime, and his play seems to have begun a steady decline.

We also must ask ourselves why the Seahawks would be interested in trading Sherman in the first place. The Seahawks aren’t a team with a lone star looking to maximize his value to aid in a rebuilding effort, but a perennial Super Bowl contender.

So, why on God’s green earth would a Super Bowl contender be looking to trade away the four-time Pro Bowler who has been their dominant defense’s physical and vocal leader ever since he stepped on the field in 2011 if they thought he was worth the $27 million they still owe him? It just doesn’t add up.

Sure it would be nice to have a seasoned veteran like Sherman who you know is capable of playing on day one as oppose to a rookie that you have to develop. But, in addition to the fact that any of the corners projected to go in the first round would have a much higher upside than Sherman does playing in his thirties, you really don’t know what to expect from Sherman.

Nov 20, 2016; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates after intercepting a pass during the third quarter at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated Philadelphia, 26-15. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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The Philadelphia Eagles desperately need a cornerback (two, actually). In Richard Sherman, they would be getting one of the best in the sport. As ESPN Seahawks beat reporter Sheil Kapadia points out, Sherman has never missed a game in his six-year career. He has averaged an eye-popping 15 passes defensed per season over that time, and his 30 interceptions since entering the league are 10 more than any other cornerback.

It’s easy to see why some Eagles fans’ ears perked up when word came out that the Seahawks have had trade talks involving the four-time Pro Bowler.

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Earlier this week, the talk of the Seahawks exploring trade possibilities for cornerback Richard Sherman picked up, as GM John Schneider admitted that the reports in the news about that very thing are real.

So, with the Colts needing cornerback help and with Sherman possibly available, would it make sense for the Colts to pursue a trade for Richard Sherman? That’s the question we asked our readers on Wednesday, and you made it clear that the majority opinion among fans is that the Colts should not pursue the trade.

Over 2,700 readers have voted in the poll as of the time of this article publishing, and the results are quite clear: 72% say the Colts should not pursue a trade for Richard Sherman.

It’s important to note that the presumed asking price for Sherman would be similar to what the Jets got for Darrelle Revis a few years ago, a first and a fourth round pick. So this wasn’t just a question of whether Richard Sherman be a good addition for the Colts but more specifically about whether the Colts should pursue him in a trade, assuming a similar asking price to what the Revis trade brought. That’s a much different – and more important – conversation on this matter.

The reality is that it’s probably unlikely that Sherman will go anywhere, as it doesn’t seem like Seattle is (or should be) eagerly looking to get rid of one of the game’s top cornerbacks – though it sounds like it’s Sherman who wants out and who initiated the trade talks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Sherman is a four-time Pro Bowler and a three-time first-team All-Pro, and he’s been terrific during his six seasons in Seattle.

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