Richard Sherman has his sights set on winning another Super Bowl ring, but he still took time out of his schedule to advocate for Stephon Gilmore as DPOY.
In case you were wondering, the NFL does indeed have a secret society within it known as “The Brotherhood of Cornerbacks.” Just ask Richard Sherman of the San Francisco 49ers, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks.
The outspoken five-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl champion is gunning for his second Lombardi Trophy this Sunday, only this time it’s with a different NFC West squad.
Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Sherman was all too happy to expound on some of the top members of his positional fraternity within the league – namely Stephon Gilmore of the New England Patriots and Tre’Davious White of the Buffalo Bills.
USA Today’s Isaiah Houde has more of what Sherman said:
"“I don’t think corners get enough credit. The Defensive Player of the Year conversation is something that I’ve always thought should go to one of the guys on the best defense — just like the Offensive Player of the Year. Just like MVP. Could you imagine MVP going to a dude on an average offense? Like, ‘Oh my God, he has crazy stats, but his offense is ranked 26th.’ You know? It wouldn’t go. But every year, you see a guy get Defensive Player of the Year but then his defense is ranked middle of the pack or low. I think it’s something about great defense, and it’s selfless.”"
Sherman has a great point. Prior winners of the award like Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack, and J.J. Watt are without a doubt some of the top talents in the NFL when it comes to defense. That being said, their respective teams at the time – the Los Angeles Rams, Oakland Raiders, and Houston Texans – have never necessarily finished the season as the top-ranked defense in the league when each star player captured the hardware.
Gilmore has a solid chance to break that precedent this year though. As the unquestioned best player on the best defense – by statistics – in the 2019 league year, many believe the award should go to Gilmore.
Sherman sounds like he agrees.
"“(Gilmore’s) been outstanding, man. I’m just happy that he’s getting the credit that he deserves. He’s had great years before, and he was stuck in Buffalo, and it didn’t matter how great he played. And it’s cool that Tre’Davious (White) is in Buffalo now and he’s having great years and (he and Gilmore) are getting the attention that they deserve.”"
White did indeed have an excellent year with the Bills. He’s certainly a star on the rise and a player that Patriots fans need to keep a close eye on, especially considering his presence on a dangerous Buffalo team that also resides in the AFC East.
But Gilmore deserves the award over White because of the tougher scheme he plays in under Bill Belichick, according to Sherman.
"“I think everybody who plays the position at least watches film of the other guys’ play and sees their technique and sees what tricks and what techniques that they’re using to be successful, and he’s been playing in a really tough defense, because (the Patriots) have been running a ton of (Cover) Zero. It’s kind of a feast-or-famine defense, and he’s stood up incredibly well.”"
The NFL Awards ceremony is set to occur this Saturday evening, one day before Sherman’s 49ers face Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 54. Gilmore earning the NFL’s DPOY award would be a nice bit of good news for New England fans still licking their wounds from an early playoff exit and all the drama surrounding Tom Brady.