Richard Sherman is uniquely qualified to compare the current iteration of the 49ers -- a team where Sherman just completed his second season under Kyle Shanahan -- with the early 2010s version that he terrorized as the catalyst of the “Legion of Boom” with the Seattle Seahawks.
Experience is where the former All-Pro cornerback sees the greatest difference between these two Niners’ squads.
“They were more of a veteran team,” Sherman told The Athletic about the Harbaugh-led 49ers versus Shanahan's group. “That was the difference. The difference is youth versus a veteran, chiseled group.
“In Seattle, we were the relatively young team compared to the 49ers team that we played,” Sherman said. “Outside of (Colin Kaepernick) and Aldon (Smith), in terms of big-time superstar players, they were five-years plus. Our team now is young.”
For example, the 2012 San Francisco team that advanced to Super Bowl XLVII past Sherman’s Seahawks didn’t have a single rookie start a game and only had seven players start at least half the team’s games.
The Shanahan-led 49ers instead had a combined 48 starts from its rookies, not including punter Mitch Wishnowsky. Deebo Samuel amassed just under 100 total yards rushing and receiving in Super Bowl LIV, while Nick Bosa picked up a strip-sack and a pass deflection in the losing effort.
While Sherman and his Seattle teammates took the NFC crown from that Harbaugh 49ers team and advanced to the next two Super Bowls after the heartbreaking loss at the Superdome, the veteran now has the chance to help a young roster get back to the top and finally capture the 49ers’ sixth Lombardi Trophy.