Richard Sherman likes to talk a lot, which can make it tough to keep track of the important stuff he says, which happens frequently because Sherman also comes across as a very, very smart person.
Case in point: On Tuesday, Sherman gave a heartfelt talk about race and also anointed the next great NFL cornerback, who happens to be on the same team as Sherman. I saw the first thing, which you can read here, but I missed the part about football, in which Sherman says Tharold Simon, 25, is going to end up being a better player than him, until now.
"He's an incredible athlete," Sherman said, per the Seahawks' website. "He's going to be a great ballplayer. I continue to stand by what I've always said -- he's going to be better than me by the time it's all said and done. The kid's a player, he just needs to put it all together and hopefully he can stay healthy and it'll be a fantastic year for him."
So, this is the point where you ask, Who the heck is Tharold Simon?
You actually already know him. He's the same cornerback the Patriots repeatedly picked on in the Super Bowl a year and a half ago after he replaced an injured Jeremy Lane.
As a result, Brady was 5 of 9 for 67 yards and 2 TDs when targeting Tharold Simon. That was obviously the desired CB matchup.— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) February 6, 2015
Here he is getting burned by Julian Edelman on the winning touchdown:
Of course, it would be unfair to judge a young player based on his performance on the biggest stage -- a stage he wasn't even supposed to be playing a major role on -- 18 months ago. Unfortunately, we haven't see much of Simon since that game. He missed most of last season with a toe injury.
Judging by his size, he certainly fits the mold as the next Sherman, measuring in at 6-feet-3 and 202 pounds.
"He can keep up with anybody, he can jump with anybody, he can stop with anybody, he can move with anybody," Sherman said. "At 6-3 and some change, 200 pounds, to move as fluid as he does, there are very few people in the league who can move as smooth as him. I'd say Patrick Peterson is the only person who kind of comes to mind with the fluidity with which he moves."
But, as fellow CBS Sports NFL writer Jared Dubin notes, the Seahawks have repeatedly failed to identify the right player to lock down the side of the field opposite of Sherman:
None of the guys who have played opposite Sherman have lived up to the Legion of Boom reputation (Brandon Browner and Byron Maxwell both took steep falls after leaving Seattle, while Cary Williams was garbage during the time he was actually there), so it'd be a bit of a twist to see Simon actually make a leap and join Sherman as an elite corner. He did have a solid stretch of play at the start of the 2014 season, but he hasn't shown much more than that just yet. Sherman obviously has gotten a closer look at him being that they're in practice together everyday, but considering he's played just 301 defensive snaps in his NFL career, we just don't have much way of knowing if the All-Pro is on point here.
Yep. We just don't know. But, for what it's worth, Sherman isn't the only Seahawk to praise Simon this summer.
"Tharold had a great day today, a good day yesterday, too,"coach Pete Carroll said Monday. "He's in really good shape. He seems to be leaner and in the best shape he's been in, physically he's the best he's been since we've had him. It kind of shows up, he had two huge plays today. We're just going to let a lot of time go by, we'll get a lot of snaps and see how it plays out. It's really good to have that kind of depth, that kind of competition going on at that spot."
The Seahawks signed penalty king Brandon Browner (again) this offseason, so yeah, it would be kind of huge if Simon emerges as a viable option in the secondary this season. As the Seahawks website noted, Simon is battling Lane and DeShawn Shead for a starting job.