CB Richard Sherman


CB Richard Sherman

Press Conference – January 8, 2020

San Francisco 49ers

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Having been through it so many times, when you look at a guy like QB Jimmy Garoppolo who never played a post-season game, what is that going to be like for him, knowing who he is?

“I don’t think it’s going to be any different. Field is the same size. Ball is the same size. He’ll be fine.”

What is different for you come playoff time? Does the intensity go up? How would you describe it?

“More people asking you questions about things that you already answered questions about. That’s about it for us. At the end of the day, the game is the same. You go out there, you play hard, you execute. If you execute well enough, you win. If you don’t, you go home.”

Is it better to face a team you haven’t faced before in the year at this point or not?

“It doesn’t matter. You’ve got time to prepare for them. You’re well-prepared either way. If you played them before, it’s a little easier, lighter load on the coaches. Yeah, it’s the same. You prepare, you get the looks, you go out there and have got to execute.”

What kind of lift does it give you defensively to have DL Dee Ford, LB Kwon Alexander and S Jaquiski Tartt back this week?

“Three veteran players who were starters on this defense who make an impact. They all play at a high level. It will be great to have them back.”

WR Emmanuel Sanders said yesterday guys like WR Deebo Samuel and WR Kendrick Bourne keep you guys young. How important is that this week?

“Those kids, this whole season, like I said, it’s no different than any other week. It’s going to be a great, great time. Those guys are going to go out there, have a good time, execute like they know how. But at the end of the day, we leave the storylines and the pageantry to the media and the fans. You go out there and execute, you win. You don’t execute, you go home.”

You know the impact of home-field advantage. What would you like to tell the people their impact will do on Saturday?

“Well, I mean, like I said, it’s no different than the regular season. If they make noise when their offense is on the field, it can cause false starts, trouble with communication. That would be great. If not, sit back and enjoy the show.”

There’s a lot of talk right now about diversity in hiring in the NFL, maybe the lack thereof. At the same time, you guys have a staff member who is in a national TV ad. What do you think having offensive assistant Katie Sowers on the staff means for the team? What can be done for more diversity?

“I think it’s great. She does a great job. She does a great job with our receivers, preparing them, making sure they’re prepared week in and week out. Obviously along with [wide receivers coach] Wes [Welker] and [offensive quality control] Miles [Austin]. I think it’s always going to be a challenge in this game, whether it’s male or female, coaches of color, getting a head coaching gig. It’s always going to be a conversation. Owners still look a certain way, they still come from a very old background. It’s going to be this way until things change. No matter how much people say about it, no matter how much people say the Rooney Rule, you have to interview these guys, the coaches still look a certain way for the most part. Every now and then there will be coaches, owners that go out of the norm and hire some coaches. I think it’s unfortunate because there’s a lot of qualified, very qualified, coaches of color and female coaches that deserve a job, deserve to get the opportunity to be head coaches. I think sometimes in this game it gets into the cycle of just old school. It’s just like the combine. The 40 and all that is obsolete, it’s dumb. People are really fast and can’t play football, but every year you sit there, ‘Oh, my God, look at this guy, ran a 4.3.’ You look it up, the pro team is full of guys who ran 4.4, 4.5, didn’t go to the combine and kill it. Coaching is the same. You can be terrible as a head coach. Hey, no matter what, in a couple more years you’re going to get another job, recycled back if you look a certain way. That’s the unfortunate part. Obviously [defensive coordinator] Robert Selah is a person of color, got an interview. I think [former NFL coach] Lovie Smith, there’s tons of coaches out there that deserve a head coaching job, [Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator] Bieniemy. Those guys aren’t even getting a look. Those that are getting the look are getting it so they can check the Rooney Rule box off. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you talk about it, because it is not changing. The people who could change it make billions and billions of dollars and they could care less.”

Having worked with Saleh closely, do you think he is deserving of that head coaching job?

“I 100-percent believe he’s deserving of a head coaching job. He’s done a great job. He commands the room really well. He has a great way of relating to his players, holding them accountable. As I said before, at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what I think. The people that make those decisions don’t seem like they’re hiring people of color very often.”

What is the biggest challenge going up against Vikings offense?

“Being disciplined. They run the ball well. [Minnesota Vikings QB] Kirk [Cousins] is very efficient with what he does. He doesn’t turn the ball over, doesn’t make very many mistakes. Being on details just like they are, being locked in for 60 minutes.”

CB Ahkello Witherspoon, CB Emmanuel Moseley, talk about those two.

“Say that again.”

The decision to go from Ahkello to Moseley.

“Both of them have been practicing really well. Both of them have played well throughout the season. Obviously, I don’t make those decisions, so you’d have to ask [head coach] Kyle [Shanahan] or Saleh or [defensive backs/passing game coordinator] Joe [Woods], whoever makes those calls. Both of them have been preparing really well. Both of them are ready to go.”

When you saw the game, Minnesota-New Orleans game, what do you think about the Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph play? Was it offensive pass interference?

“I don’t feel a way either way. You play DB in this league, you learn to play with your hands behind your back, tied up, one leg. That’s the way it is. Doesn’t matter what I think about that play. They didn’t call it. It’s a touchdown game. If the DB would have grabbed his hand, he probably would have called defensive pass interference, gave him another chance. That’s what the league wanted when they came up with these rules. That’s what they’re getting.”

You mentioned Kirk’s efficiency. What makes him as effective as he is?

“He throws the ball away when he needs to. He throws the ball to the ground. He throws the ball into a spot when he has somebody open. At times, when other quarterbacks would force it in there, he doesn’t. He looks down the field. He checks everything. He checks every box, then he goes to his outlets when he needs to. He’s not afraid to do that. He doesn’t get impatient. He’ll take checkdowns all game if that’s what the defense gives him.”

Emmanuel was in here talking about how Kendrick and Deebo Samuel, that youth is important for the ecosystem of the team. Do you believe the same thing?

“100-percent. 100-percent. They’re too young to know any better. That’s always good. When you’re too young to know any better, the circumstances don’t matter. You just get to play football one more time. That’s what these guys are thinking. That’s what you appreciate about youth. They get another opportunity to go out there and do their dances and do all their choreographed handshakes. As a team, you appreciate it.”