Richard Sherman's Achilles injury recovery has Pete Carroll 'fired up'

Richard Sherman's Achilles injury recovery has Pete Carroll 'fired up'

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, a native of the North Bay and a 49ers fan in his youth, went back a few decades for a comparison of what it is like to be the cornerback on the other side of Richard Sherman.

He likened Sherman to Jimmy Johnson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after a career with the 49ers that spanned from 1961 to ’76.

“You guys don’t know this, probably, but if you went back to the old days with the Niners when Jimmy Johnson was there, and how many guys he wore out,” Carroll told Bay Area reporters Wednesday on a conference call.

“The great example was Kermit Alexander.”

Second-year player Ahkello Witherspoon, the cornerback opposite of Sherman for most of the season, has seen 30 more passes thrown his way than Sherman this season, according to Pro Football Focus.

Sherman spent the first seven years of his NFL career with Carroll in Seattle, where he might have also worn out his coach, at times. But Carroll had nothing but glowing memories to share of Sherman on Wednesday.

“We had a great time together,.” Carroll said. “We went through so much, and so much growth and challenges, victories and frustration. We went through a ton of stuff together. I really cherish the time that Sherm was here. I really enjoyed working with him. He’s such a bright person and such a great competitor and extraordinary performer. It was really a great time.”

Sherman sustained a torn Achilles last season, and the Seahawks released him in the offseason. On the same day Sherman’s name hit the NFL personnel notice, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan dined with Sherman, who signed a contract the following day.

On a podcast with former NFL players Joe Thomas and Andrew Hawkins later in the offseason, Sherman said Carroll’s message – and his anecdotes -- had become redundant.

“And they're cool stories, they're great for team chemistry and building, etc., etc.,” Sherman said. “But we had literally heard them all. We could recite them before he even started to say them."

Carroll is in his ninth season as Seahawks coach. He coached Sherman during his entire time in Seattle. He does not dispute the challenges of trying to keep things interesting for everyone.

“I think any coach who’s been in the same situation for a long time recognizes that you have to keep battling with your messaging and your philosophy and your approach to keep it fresh and keep it new and all of that,” Carroll said. “It’s a challenge. Every year you have new people, and every year, speaking personally, I had to go back and start over. So when you do that, the message is repetitive. And if you really have a philosophy, it better be. If you believe in something, you’re going to stay with it.”

[RELATED: Former 49er Ian Williams calls out Seahawks' J.R. Sweezy for dirty play]

While Carroll said the biggest responsibility falls on the coach to continue to find a way to get through to veteran players, he said the players have to find ways to keep themselves motivated, too.

“Whether you’re a first-year learner or a seventh-year learner, to keep it fresh and stay curious and all of that, that responsibility is on everybody,” Carroll said. “It’s not just the coach. But I always take the ultimate responsibility. I got to find a way to keep it fresh and that’s just the challenge, and we all know that.”

Although the 49ers have struggled this season with a 2-9 record, Sherman has appeared to bounce back well from a serious injury. Until Sunday in Tampa Bay, Sherman had not been tested much and had not been beaten in coverage.

[RELATED: Richard Sherman 'disappointed' in Reuben Foster's bad end with 49ers]

On the season, Sherman has given up 16 catches for 266 passing yards, but 113 of those yards came against the Buccaneers. Carroll said he is "fired up" to see Sherman make such a notable recovery.

“He’s having a very successful season,” Carroll said of Sherman. “Every year you adapt, and Richard is a brilliant football player and he has always been a guy that we would always work together with the little things that we would grow with year to year to try to stay ahead of it. And he’s continued to do that. I think he’s been very successful this season.”

Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks


Jalen Ramsey trade: Jaguars deal cornerback to Rams for draft picks

The 49ers really messed with the Rams' heads.

In the wake of Los Angeles' 20-7 loss to San Francisco in Week 6, the Rams first traded cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, and then made an even bigger move.

The Jaguars traded cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Rams in exchange for two first-round and one fourth-round draft pick.

[RELATED: Why gap between 49ers, Rams won't close after Ramsey trade]

Ramsey is arguably the best cornerback in the game, and has widely been rumored to be on the trade block ever since getting into a sideline confrontation with Jacksonville coach Doug Marrone in Week 2.

The All-Pro cornerback got his wish and got out of Jacksonville. The 49ers will see him in Week 16 when the Rams visit Levi's Stadium.

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Why Rams' Jalen Ramsey trade will not close growing gap behind 49ers

Two days after the unbeaten 49ers sent the Los Angeles Rams to their third consecutive loss, the two-time defending NFC West champions reacted.

The Rams traded away cornerback Marcus Peters -- who intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo in the end zone Sunday and acquired linebacker Kenny Young and a fifth-round draft pick. Then, the Rams put the finishing touches on a trade to acquire disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams sent first-round picks in 2020 and ’21 to Jacksonville, along with a fourth-round selection in ’21.

When Ramsey asked for a trade last month, the 49ers were not interested in paying the price, NBC Sports Bay Area reported. General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan were not willing to give up the high draft picks, coupled with the big contract that Ramsey will be seeking when his contract expires.

Ramsey is a great player, of course. He scheduled to make $13.7 million in 2020, the final year of his deal. The Rams are parting ways with two first-round draft picks for a player they have under contract for only one-and-a-half seasons.

If the 49ers’ 20-7 win over the Rams on Sunday showed anything, it’s that the Rams need a lot of help in front of quarterback Jared Goff. The 49ers’ defensive line thoroughly overmatched the Los Angeles offensive line. Goff looked shaken and unsteady. The Rams managed just 48 net passing yards.

The Rams have an obvious need on their offensive line -- especially with Andrew Whitworth, a 14-year veteran, lining up at left tackle. This could be the end of the road for him.

With the college game producing a dearth of offensive linemen, any team that needs help at tackle must invest a high draft pick to get a talented player at that position.

Los Angeles made the decision to acquire one of the league’s best cornerbacks for the next one-and-a-half seasons at the expense of, potentially, beefing up their offensive line with a player who could provide a counter-balance to the 49ers’ strength on the defensive line.

Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead have reason to be excited about facing this collection of Rams offensive linemen for a while.

[RELATED: 49ers' Breida impressed by defense in win against Rams]

Can Ramsey cover tight end George Kittle? That’s about the only way Ramsey can help the Rams in head-to-head matchups against the 49ers.

Lynch and Shanahan have put together a long-term plan designed at doing their best to ensure the 49ers can remain competitive on a yearly basis. This trade by an NFC West opponent is a big step toward them achieving that goal.