Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ Robert Saleh and Richard Sherman praise Emmanuel Moseley, who has ‘no fear’ in his game

Oct 4, 2019 at 1:35 PM--

Second-year cornerback Emmanuel Moseley is preparing for his first NFL start, and it will be under the national spotlight of Monday Night Football when the San Francisco 49ers host the Cleveland Browns at Levi's Stadium.

Moseley is playing in place of Ahkello Witherspoon, who suffered a foot sprain during Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The pressure of going against the likes of an Odell Beckham Jr. or a Jarvis Landry might be overwhelming for a young defensive back.

Not Moseley.

"Any competitor enjoys being an underdog," Moseley said of Beckham via Grant Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. "You can go out there and prove yourself. I treat every receiver the same. Just have to prepare for him, watch film on him."

Moseley has a lot of faith in himself, and from the sounds of it, so do his teammates and coaches. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh spoke with reporters on Friday and discussed his confidence in Moseley with the young defender's first start just days away.

"E-Man's got a great mindset to him," Saleh said. "He's not afraid of anything, and that's a number one prerequisite for a corner, is you can't be scared. He's also got a very short memory, so when he does get beat, he's able to line up as if nothing happened and keep grinding. There's no fear in his football game.

"He's shown from last year, making it as an undrafted free agent, and then this year, really just taking hold with K'Waun (Williams) missing OTAs, just grabbing his spot on the roster by the neck.

"When we put pads on, his physicality, his mindset, his football I.Q., his work ethic, all of it, it just kept growing on coaches. For us, we just have a tremendous amount of confidence in him."

Moseley has also gained the respect of veteran cornerback Richard Sherman, who will start across from him on Monday night. The three-time first-team All-Pro and four-time Pro Bowl selection is excited to watch Moseley show the country what he can do.

"He just doesn't back down from anybody," Sherman told reporters on Friday. "I think that's one of the greatest barometers, for me, when watching a player is how he treats different opponents. Does he treat the main guy and the seventh receiver the same, or does he treat them different? Does he approach it differently? Is he less scrappy? Is he more reserved and conservative in his approach when he's the guy?

"You get E-man up there, and it doesn't matter who it is. It doesn't matter if he's going against the ones, the threes, the twos, the starter, the backup, a rookie, a vet. He's going to approach it the same way every time, and he's going to be scrappy, he's going to be competitive, he's going to be close to the ball, and he's going to have a chance to make a play on the football.

"That's all you can ask for at the corner spot."

Sherman has covered Beckham before and will discuss his experience and share some tips with Moseley before Monday's game. Hopefully, that will give the young cornerback a bit of an edge. Of course, Sherman didn't want to share what any of those tips might be.

We'll have to wait until Monday night to see if Sherman's tips were helpful.

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