CB Richard Sherman
CB Richard Sherman
Press Conference – January 16, 2020
San Francisco 49ers
Talk about playing in front of fans from the Bay Area. You were a star at Stanford where they loved you, you went to Seattle where maybe they didn’t love you so much, and now you’re back here in San Francisco where they love you again. What’s it like as a player going through that kind of a journey?
“Honestly, it’s all the same for me. You know, there are certain people in your corner that love you regardless, and those are the only people’s opinions that matter to me. I go out there every day and try to execute my job and play hard, and regardless, the chips are going to fall, people are going to like you, hate you, et cetera, et cetera. Neither one of those opinions matter. The opinions that matter to me are people who are in my corner regardless, and those people have been happy either way.”
With regard to DL Nick Bosa, early on was there a moment that opened your eyes and you realized how special he was going to be?
“I can’t think of an individual moment. He’s been so consistent since he got here, especially in training camp, and obviously throughout the season. But I think just his mannerisms, the way he carries himself, the way he practices, his effectiveness play-in and play-out have really been eye-opening for a rookie because you find yourself forgetting that he’s a rookie most of the time, until you really think about it, because he doesn’t play like a rookie, he doesn’t carry himself like a rookie and he doesn’t move, he doesn’t act like a rookie in any way. It’s really a testament to him, his family, everybody who’s helped him get to this point and developed this mentality.”
A lot of the guys on this team have said how close a group this is and how unusual it is at least for the veterans. You’re one of the veterans. Do you find the cohesiveness, the chemistry on this team different than what you’ve experienced maybe in the past?
“I’ve been on some pretty tight teams, but this is right up there with them. This is a family atmosphere, and guys care about one another. Guys go out there and fight for one another. Guys care about each other on and off the field, so that is really cool, and it’s really special to be a part of.”
Aside from winning, how do you create that?
“Well, we had it before we were winning, so I guess you’d have to talk to [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] and [general manager] John [Lynch] about that, getting the right guys, that’s a big part of it, guys who care about football, guys who want to do everything they can to win, guys that are selfless, guys that are compassionate, guys that show humility to one another. You know, it’s a lot of factors that they study on an individual level that make for a great team.”
Is the person you are in the locker room and the person you are at home the same as the person you are on the field, or do you have a persona that you get into when you play football?
“I don’t really know how to explain that. I don’t know how to answer that because I’m the same person regardless- I’m in the same body no matter what. But I think you treat people and carry yourself differently in all three phases. One of them you’re on the battle field. You’re there to do a job. In the locker room you’re a different person because you’re around your teammates, you’re there for a purpose. And at home, again, the circumstances change. That’s like me asking a person, hey, as a lawyer are you the same way in the courtroom as you are with your wife? Know what I mean? It’s going to be a different kind of approach for him. It’s going to be a different preparation, a different seriousness, a different tone, so it’s difficult for me to say, I’m the same as I am in the locker room at home and on the field because there’s three different fields of life.”
Kyle Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh definitely compete in practice, offense versus defense. I’ve heard sometimes Kyle challenges them in the meeting rooms. What’s that dynamic like with those two?
“Honestly on the practice field it’s not much to see. They both kind of just do their jobs. There’s a few conversations here and there early on in practice, but for the most part Kyle is running the offense, Sal is running the defense. Kyle comes over for a few throws during our install period on Thursdays and Fridays, and usually that’s it for them on the field, honestly.”
What makes Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers the quarterback he is, and how tough is he to prepare for?
“Well, he throws an incredible football. He has a quick release. He’s very accurate. He throws a great deep ball. He’s mobile. He’s great at creating. He’s great at diagnosing defense. He has all the tools that you look for in an elite quarterback, and he’s done it for a number of years.”
When you look at yourself, you’re a very competitive person. Aaron is known as being competitive, as well. How would you characterize your competitions against him over the years?
“I’d say it’s been intense. It’s been very competitive, I guess, for lack of better words. We’ve played quite a few times, and the games are always good. There’s rarely any blowouts one way or another. But it’s always a chess match with him, and you’ve got to pick your spots carefully.”
The only receivers that have been targeted more than Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams are New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas and Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones. Do you get up for a guy like that? Do you want him on your side? What goes into that?
“I don’t care either way. I’m trying to win the football game. I’m not trying to win the individual match-up. Individual match-ups, I don’t really care about them. At the end of the day it’s about winning football games. He’s a great player. He’s somebody that we’ve obviously got to account where he is on the field at all times. But in terms of individual match-ups, it means nothing to me.”
When is the last time you shadowed somebody on the right side?
“I don’t know, you’d have to go back and look at tape. I’ve done it a few times. Probably Julio in 2016 in the playoffs probably.
You have never lost a conference championship game, I believe that’s correct. Is there anything different about preparing for this game, this level of the season as opposed to any other game?
“Not for me. There’s nothing different. You’ve got to get to your preparation. Like I said before, you’ve got to go out there and execute. It sounds boring and rudimentary, but honestly that’s what it comes down to. Either you’re going to execute or you’re not. The people who treat this game as more than what it is, those are usually the people that lose.”
You moved to the right side with Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen the last game?
“Probably if they were in the triples or something.”
It wasn’t a scheme thing?
“No, it wasn’t a scheme thing. It was just we were in man coverage, there were two receivers on the field, he was one of the receivers, I had to guard the receiver. He just happened to be on that side.”
Did you mirror former 49ers WR Anquan Bolden when you played the Niners like five, six years ago?
“Yeah, a couple years ago. That was in like ’14 or something like that, ’13. Yeah, I mirrored him. I’ve mirrored [Cincinnati Bengals WR] A.J. Green, Julio a few times. Like I said, we don’t draw up the defense. I don’t call the defense. Coach tells me what to do; I do it. For me to say, oh, man, I want this guy, I want this guy. I don’t really care. Does it help us win the game? Is it going to help the defense? Is it going to help us limit their explosives? Then I’ll do it. If it’s not, if it doesn’t make a difference, if it’s better for me to be on a side, then that’s what I’m going to do. I love it how people are like, ‘Oh, my God, these guys need to do this.’ Well, I’m going to let you know something: You go to your job and tell your boss what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do and see how long you last. At the end of the day, Saleh and Kyle, Saleh calls the defense. If Saleh comes up to me and says, ‘Hey, you follow this guy everywhere he goes,’ then that’s what I’m going to do. If he doesn’t, guess what? I’m going to do what he’s told me to do. That’s how coaching and player relationships work. And it just so happens we have the No. 1 pass defense in the league. Whoa, oh, my God, it’s crazy. It’s crazy that you’re not following anybody but somehow you have the No. 1 pass defense in the league, almost like our strategy works. It’s almost like you’re an idiot for doing it any other way. It’s almost like you’re dumb if you do it another way. It’s almost like people have been saying, ‘Do it this way’ for so long, but they don’t have the No. 1 defense, but whatever, I’m crazy.”
So you don’t just go, ‘Guys, I have a feeling’-
“Right, right, I don’t just go rogue, like hey, this is their guy, I’m going to do it this week. It doesn’t make a difference to me; know what I mean? Like I said, we’ve had the No. 1 pass defense in this league, and we haven’t done it. Until you start telling me that a great left tackle is following pass rushers wherever they go, oh, my God, Griffin is lined up over the guard, tell Joe to go in there and block him. Oh, my God, he’s lined up over the right; tell Joe to go to the right. Until that starts happening, miss me with it.”