Second-year cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has rebounded after appearing to fall victim to the sophomore slump. During his last four games, he has allowed just eight receptions on 23 targets, according to Pro Football Focus, and hasn't allowed a touchdown in coverage in the last six games.

That's a nice rebound when you take into account his six touchdowns allowed during his first six games.

"He's a good player," veteran cornerback Richard Sherman told reporters on Thursday. "I think a lot was made over a few plays that didn't go his way, a few mistakes. But I think overall, if you take the whole season, he's had a pretty good year.

"Everybody has those games that you want back and those plays that you want back, but I think he's responded well to the adversity that he faced early in the season. I think that he's blossomed."

Witherspoon had a similarly strong finish to his rookie campaign, which built fan expectations for the young corner as he headed into 2018. Sherman believes that sometimes early success gets into a young player's head, allowing him to think he has the position figured out. Then reality hits when he gets back onto the football field, and opposing teams attack his perceived weaknesses.

"I don't think you'll have the same thing at the start of next year," Sherman added, "but that's a long time away."

Witherspoon's 34.8 reception percentage allowed is tops since Week 10 among cornerbacks with seven or more targets. Quarterbacks targeting him during that span have a combined passer rating of 48.6, which ranks as the fifth-worst against cornerbacks with 10-or-more targets.

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said on Thursday that the three most dangerous words for a young player like Witherspoon are "I got it."

"If he ever thinks he's got it, he'll lose it," Saleh said. "Don't take it for granted. Always hone in on your craft. Always study yourself more than you do your opponent and understand what you're putting on tape. Really evolve your game to the third step in our teaching progression, understand what offenses are trying to do to you, not necessarily what they're running.

"What you're putting on tape, that could expose what you're doing. He's got to continue to grow. That's what makes the great ones great."