Richard Sherman overcame impossible odds in his first game with the Buccaneers.
The NFL is a unique sport in its complexity. Players who arrive in the middle of the season usually take a week or two before they are actually prepared to take the field with their new teammates, unlike sports such as baseball, but this was not the case with Richard Sherman and the Buccaneers.
Sherman starting last night was a Hail Mary by the Bucs inspired by the notion that anything had to be better than what they did in prior weeks. Sherman had only been on the team for a few days, and even with less than a week of practice time under his belt, the Buccaneers saw Sherman as their best chance to win last night.
This is far from the norm in football, but it shows how special Sherman is and how dire the need for corners is in Tampa.
While Sherman as an individual struggled at times last night, the defense did look better. The Patriots scoring less than 20 points was a welcomed change to what the Bucs had seen throughout the rest of the season, but the individual performance was a mixed bag.
In the world of analyzing player performances, who does it better than one of the smartest players in league history evaluating himself?
Sherman had this to say about his game last night:
“Not the best day of football but grateful for the win” should be the Bucs’ slogan for the rest of the season.
Of course, Sherman struggled at times. Who wouldn’t in a brand new defense and without the time to get into football shape? Sherman was placed in an impossible position, but this means that a mediocre performance is far more impressive.
Leading the team in tackles after so little practice is promising, even if those tackles came because the opposing offense specifically targeted Sherman. Sherman also read the field perfectly to scoop up a fumble, and that type of football IQ in an unfamiliar situation is extremely rare.
No one is saying Sherman was the x-factor last night, but if that was the performance we get after just a handful of practices, imagine what we will see after a bit more time to get comfortable.
Based on a bevy of injuries and plenty of question marks on the defense, Richard Sherman is the CB1 for the time being in Tampa, and this first game still inspires confidence in the coming weeks, even with a few missed plays.
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