Richard Sherman, like a lot of great athletes, looks for and finds motivation in things both real and perceived.
You remember #HandshakeGate with Baker Mayfield, right?
The veteran 49ers cornerback plays with a chip on his shoulder. He wants to be doubted and relishes in sticking it to those who choose to come at him.
Teammate Dante Pettis, no doubt, is aware of that. The second-year wide receiver gave Sherman a little bulletin board material before the 49ers' 51-13 curb-stomping of the Panthers in Week 8. But whether that motivation was on the level, still is yet to be determined.
“I guess [Pettis is] friends” with [Kyle] Allen, Sherman said, via The San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch. “He’s like, ‘Hey, man, his plan is just to go at you.’ It’s like you’ve got to understand: I’m not new to this. I’m true to this. And my 15 minutes started an hour ago.”
But ... was Pettis just trying to gas Sherman up?
“No, I’m not completely sure,” Sherman said when asked if he knew it was true. “He knows how I am, too. So he could have not known this kid at all and just said that ... I don’t know if he said it, but Pettis said he said it, so it pissed me off.”
Because it's Kyle Allen and not Mayfield, there won't be some Zapruder-film deep dive into whether or not Allen actually planned to target Sherman at Levi's Stadium.
With the thrashing of the Panthers, the 49ers moved to 7-0 ahead of their Thursday night NFC West tilt with the Cardinals.
Let's see if another teammate tries to give Sherman some faux motivation to make Kyler Murray's life miserable in Week 9.