Focus on: Richard Sherman

Posted Dec 18, 2013

Interceptions and honors continue to come Richard Sherman’s way as the Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week after his two-pick performance against the Giants.

After his All-Pro season in 2012, the question with Richard Sherman was obvious: What would he do for an encore in 2013?

Answer: Garner honors and interceptions at an alarming rate.

The third-year cornerback was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday after intercepting two passes and tipping a third that was picked off by All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas in the end zone during the Seahawks’ 23-0 victory over the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

It’s the second time Sherman has been honored with the weekly award this season, and he also was named NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September. The only other player in franchise history to win a monthly award and multiple weekly awards in the same season was running back Shaun Alexander in 2005, when he capped his season my being voted league MVP. Alexander was player of the month for November that season, as well as player of the week three times (Weeks 3, 6 and 9).

Very select company Sherman finds himself in.

He’s also tied for the league lead with six interceptions, and since 2011 no player in the NFL has more interceptions (18) or passes defensed (52) than the player who was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft that year and entered the lineup as the third option injury replacement at left cornerback.

Sunday, Sherman intercepted an Eli Manning pass that was intended for Hakeem Nicks early in the second quarter and then picked off another on a Hail Mary heave just before the half. But he might have saved his best for last, by tipping a pass intended for Nicks in the end zone that Thomas intercepted.

“It shows how connected we are,” Thomas said Wednesday. “We know where each other are without even saying it.”

That was Sherman’s take on the play after the game.

“That’s why you can tell Earl is everywhere, because it wasn’t one-high (coverage),” Sherman said. “It wasn’t one-high at all. The back stayed in and that was his man and he just sprinted to where the ball was. I played inside (for the slant) and I saw him going for the fade (route), and I just started slowing down so the ball would be in catchable range. So I put my eyes up and I knew it was going to be a jump-ball situation. And I know Earl or Kam (Chancellor, the strong safety) are on their way at all times. They’re speeding somewhere to the vicinity, so I tried to tip to up with enough air for somebody to get under it. And Earl got under it.”

Besides, Sherman owed Thomas one for that pick on the Hail Mary at the end of the half.

“I could have easily gone up there and tried to challenge Sherm for that ball,” Thomas said. “But I didn’t. God saw that. When you do good stuff like that, you get rewarded.”

After the game, Sherman admitted he owed Thomas one.

“He did. He definitely did,” Thomas offered through a smile. “I’m glad he said that. He owed me one.”