After signing with the Bucs last Wednesday, not only did cornerback Richard Sherman suit up for the game against the Patriots, he also started. The 4-day turnaround was truly impressive by the 11-year veteran. Sherman told the media earlier in the week he did not expect to play right away.
“I need at least a week of practice to really hone things in and play at the level I’m capable of,” Sherman said. “I think the expectation is for me to train and to get in shape and give me an opportunity for the following week.”
However, head coach Bruce Arians left the door open.
“There’d be a bunch of guys hurt if he’s out there this week,” Arians said. “We’ll wait and see. He’s got so much to learn and he hasn’t had pads on in so long, but he does know how to play the game.”
Bucs CB Richard Sherman – Photo by: Cliff Welch/PR
Well, the injuries piled up and Sherman was forced into the lineup. Pro Football Focus charged Sherman with giving up eight receptions on eight targets for 98 yards, far from a stellar outing. But some of those numbers are too harsh, as Sherman didn’t receive help he should have in zone coverage a few times. Bruce Arians went in-depth with team reporter Casey Phillips on Bucs Total Access.
“As the week went on Jamel Dean didn’t get any better, it was like ok Sherm[Sherman] you’re up,” Arians said. “He was more than up to the task. I can’t give him a game ball, but we should give him some kind of ball for it. Came out, played 59 plays. I thought he played really, really well. He did have the one penalty, but that was ok. He needs some help. [Sherman] was playing zone coverage and needed some guys underneath some of those in-routes for him. But he did a heck of a job.”
Sherman finished the game tied with a team-high seven tackles. All of his tackles were solo tackles, as the Patriots targeted him often. The corner also had a big fumble recovery that was jarred loose by Antoine Winfield Jr.
“I’ve known Sherm for a long time,” Arians said. “He’s a very, very bright man and a very, very bright player. It was just a matter of what’s this check, what’s that check. He’s so smart, I knew he’d have that part of it down. Now the stamina and everything else, I’ve got to give all the credit in the world. I mean, 59 snaps. Thank God it was raining and cool, because if it was hot it probably would’ve got him. Again, I can’t say enough about what he did in this ball game.”
The Bucs will need to rely on Sherman again this week. Carlton Davis is out for an extended period of time after injuring his quad. Jamel Dean may return, but his injury status is still unclear. With another week to get more familiar with the playbook and his football legs underneath him, Sherman should be even better than his Week 4 performance.
J.C. Allen is one of PewterReport.com’s newest beat writers. As a New England transplant, he has closely followed Tom Brady’s entire career and first fell in love with the game during the Patriots 1996 Super Bowl run. J.C. is in his second year covering the team after spending a year with Bucs Report as a writer, producer and show host. Some of his other interests include barbecuing, being outdoors, and spending time with family and friends. His favorite Buccaneer of all time is Simeon Rice and believes he deserves a spot in Canton. Follow J.C. Allen on Twitter @JCAllenNFL.
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