Breaking: George Kittle seemingly shoots down Sports Illustrated report that a contract extension is imminent
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


‘Vintage’ Richard Sherman and emergence of Ahkello Witherspoon big for 49ers defense

Sep 11, 2019 at 11:35 AM--


The San Francisco 49ers defense carried the team to a win during Week 1, forcing four takeaways, including three interceptions and two returned for touchdowns. It was the kind of debut the unit needed to have after setting NFL records last year for the fewest takeaways and interceptions in a single season.

Richard Sherman looked like Richard Sherman as he hauled in a Jameis Winston-thrown pass and raced into the end zone. The veteran cornerback joined 49ers Live this week and discussed his performance on Sunday.

"I don't think I ever got a pick the first game of the season," Sherman told team reporter Keiana Martin. "It felt really good. It was good for the team."

If Sherman is back to his Pro Bowl and All-Pro form, it could mean big things for the 49ers defense this season. Injuries, after all, hindered him in 2018, his first season with San Francisco.

"Sunday was a good representation of 'vintage' Richard Sherman," the cornerback said while using air quotes on the word "vintage." The term isn't being used as a knock on Sherman's age, but a reference to the kind of play he displayed during his seven Hall-of-Fame-worthy seasons with the Seattle Seahawks.

"It's just feeling good, being in rhythm," Sherman continued. "Obviously, there's a lot to clean up, had penalties that I need to get out, missed a tackle or two, and those things, you've got to clean up. It's just getting the rust off and being out there the first game, but we were still able to get the win, so I'm happy."

Another player who looked impressive was third-year cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. He too had an interception returned for a touchdown, which sealed the victory for San Francisco. Witherspoon is coming off an up and down 2018 campaign but had a strong offseason.

Sherman has never doubted the young cornerback's ability but noticed growth in another area.

"I've just seen him grow mentally," Sherman said of Witherspoon. "He's always been physically gifted. He can move, he can cover with the best of them, he can catch, he can do everything an elite corner can do, but mentally, he's grown tremendously. He's taken great strides, and he works at it constantly.

"He's a guy that's a perfectionist and wants to be perfect at everything, wants to be great at everything that he does, and I think the mental side and just having the mental fortitude is something that he's worked on, and it's taken his game to a whole other level."

Sherman gives a lot of credit for Sunday's takeaways to the 49ers' revamped defensive front. The team already had Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and added pass rushers Dee Ford and Nick Bosa this offseason.

Then there is second-year linebacker Fred Warner, who was responsible for a forced fumble against the Buccaneers.

"A ton of credit needs to go to Fred Warner," Sherman said. "He's worked the 'Peanut Punches,' as they call it, over and over repeatedly in practice. It's something that he's perfected, and he causes a lot of chaos out there."

Warner, who also joined Martin on 49ers Live, says he feels more confident heading into his sophomore NFL season.

"Now, going from year one to year two, having that experience that I have from last year, just being able to play a lot faster, and know the guys around me, that's probably the biggest difference," Warner said.

The 49ers remained on the East Coast this week and are practicing in Youngstown, Ohio in preparation for their Week 2 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.





More San Francisco 49ers News



Richard Sherman believes disciplined and hungry 49ers won't let season get derailed

By David Bonilla
Jul 31, 2020

A lot of things could potentially derail the San Francisco 49ers' quest for redemption. The team is hungry to right a wrong that happened in February. The team is hungry to return to the Super Bowl and not let victory slip from its grip. COVID-19. A Super Bowl hangover. Regression. Injuries. A lot could go wrong. Distraction won't be an obstacle this season. From top to bottom, the 49ers are focused. That was evident from the State of the Franchise event in June when several players stated the goal is to emerge as Super Bowl champions. Even head coach Kyle Shanahan is focused on getting back to that

Read the Full Article


Richard Sherman believes first-team practice reps will benefit Emmanuel Moseley

By David Bonilla
Jul 30, 2020

There's a training camp battle brewing between San Francisco 49ers cornerbacks Emmanuel Moseley and Ahkello Witherspoon. One will earn the right to start opposite veteran Richard Sherman, who believes Moseley has the upper hand after a strong 2019 campaign. Moseley, an undrafted player out of Tennessee, is entering his third NFL season. He started nine games last season after taking over for Witherspoon, who was sidelined with a foot injury. Moseley also started the 49ers' final two playoff games, including Super Bowl LIV. Sherman envisions Moseley getting the early snaps with the first-team defense when the 49ers finally get onto the practice field in August. "I think he'll have a whole training camp of starting,"

Read the Full Article


Richard Sherman never considered opting out, says 49ers focused, 'uniquely constructed' to deal with pandemic

By David Bonilla
Aug 4, 2020

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spoke to reporters back-to-back on Tuesday via a video conference call. Between the two interviews, the seat, microphone, and table where Sherman sat were thoroughly wiped and disinfected by a team staff member. It's a reminder of how different things are amid a pandemic. The 49ers, along with the 31 other NFL teams, are trying to navigate their way to the 2020 season, and do so as safely as possible. Players have until Thursday to opt-out of the season should they have concerns for their own health or the health of their families. Sherman is entering his 10th NFL season and third with the 49ers. He has a wife and young children at home. Sherman, however, never really

Read the Full Article

Featured

More Featured Stories

Trending News

More News
Share 49erswebzone