SANTA CLARA - Richard Sherman is not disappointed that he has not been targeted this season but like all things, he believes that will change.
Two weeks in a row, the 49ers have opened games with blown coverages that led to huge plays by opposing teams. While Sherman has expressed his frustration in the missed assignments, he remains confident that the defense will improve.
“Guys are playing as hard as they can,” Sherman said. “The mistakes that have happened, have gotten corrected by the coaches in meetings and things like that. I’m sure that one of these days it’ll turn around. It’s football. Very few trends stay the course.”
According to ProFootballFocus.com Sherman has only been targeted ten times this season, allowing two completions for 28 yards. He would like to be closer to the action, but he understands why that is not the case.
"It’s not really disappointing, you just have to do your job,” Sherman said. “Sure I’d like the opportunity to get my hands on the ball and compete but it’s part of playing a team sport. Everybody has to do their job and everybody has to be on it. That’s all I can do. Do my job, do my part and make sure that I’m locked in and I’m where I’m supposed to be.”
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Sherman has been in this situation before, with a rookie covering the side of the field across from him. Last season it was Seattle Seahawks defensive back Shaquill Griffin and the team opened up against Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers took advantage of the inexperience of Griffin and targeted his side of the field seven or eight times.
It was a challenging start for Griffin but things got better for the rookie as the season went on. He registered his first NFL interception in week 17.
Sherman also recounted his history with Brandon Browner, who registered six interceptions in his rookie year but five of them came late in the season in weeks 11-14.
“It’s happened a lot,” Sherman said. “You have your ups and downs.”
Sherman reiterated what he has said the past few weeks. It’s not anything complicated, it’s just players doing their jobs.
“It’s guys playing sound.” Sherman said. “Guys doing their job. It’s not wondering who is going to bust this week or who is going to make a mistake. It’s knowing that guys are going to play, at the bare minimum they are going to do their job. And a lot of times, in this defense, that’s good enough.”
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Sherman has been an on-field coach for the 49ers young secondary and an advocate for them through challenging times. Defensive back Greg Mabin said that Sherman spoke to him after the Packers game.
“He talked with me a little bit, and it definitely helped my mindset at the time, and right now, it still hurts,” Mabin said. “But I’m just happy that I have a chance to go out there and practice today, and have a chance to improve.”
Sherman will likely keep his message the same, coaching the young members of his position to become as consistent as he is.
“It’s just being where you’re supposed to be, when you’re supposed to be there and doing that for 60, 70, 80 plays.”