Richard Sherman has a chip on his shoulder. We know this because Richard Sherman constantly reminds us. The former Stanford cornerback was taken in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, and that perceived slight has motivated him to be one of the league's best defenders. It also has given him a unique perspective on the draft process.
"That's all it is, is a sham," the cornerback said during an appearance on NFL Network's ATL Debate Club podcast. "The players that are going to be hyped, are going to be hyped. That's why you have half the first round as busts every year."
Sherman's draft-day experiences never affected his confidence. There was the "U Mad Bro" incident involving Tom Brady back in Week 6, the pimp-slap incident involving Trent Williams in the NFC wild-card round, and now, a month after the Seahawks lost to the Falcons in the NFC divisional round, Sherman has weighed in on Atlanta wideout Roddy White.
During an appearance on ESPN's NFL Live last week (via PFT), Sherman called White "an easy matchup. He'll be another easy matchup next year. This is just fact.”
Sherman expanded upon those thoughts Friday.
"[White's] strengths are in their system, within their system," the cornerback said. "His strengths aren't his own.
"Julio Jones' strengths are his own. Julio Jones is a dynamic playmaker. It doesn't matter what scheme he's playing in, he's going to play well. If he's out wide, if he's in the slot, he's going to present problems. Roddy can present problems for certain people, but he's a product."
OK, Richard, then how do you explain White's 47-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter of last month's playoff game? The one that came with you in coverage?
"During that game, for example, the play where he caught the touchdown, the touchdown wasn't really on me, to tell the truth," Sherman said. "But I'm not going to throw a teammate under the bus, because I'm not that kind of player. If that's what you guys want to say, I'll take it."
(NFL.com's Dan Hanzus looked at the tape and confirms Sherman's assessment of what went wrong on the play.)
Sherman added that the Falcons keep White close to the formation to help him against press coverage. Or as Sherman put it: "The big, bad corners of Seattle."
Good news: The Seahawks and Falcons will meet in Atlanta next season.