Richard Sherman in a Seattle seahawks uniform

NFL Teams Should Avoid Trading For Richard Sherman

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Even though the Seattle Seahawks are looking to trade Richard Sherman this off-season, they should have a difficult time finding a trade partner. This is because over the past six seasons, Pete Carroll has implemented a defensive system that is centered around the cover three defense. According to Bleacher Report, in a cover three defense cornerbacks are told to cover the deep outside third of the field. As a result of this, they usually stand 7 or 8 yards away from the line of scrimmage and only worry about covering the area between the line of scrimmage and the numbers. This particular alignment for the cornerback is meant to give them extra time to turn their bodies to get in position to defend the potential streak, fade or stop and go route. On the other hand, the linebackers and the strong safety are responsible for covering all the short routes across the middle and boundaries. Meanwhile, the free safety is in charge of defending all the deep routes across the middle or offering help to the cornerbacks if he is having problems stopping the deep ball.

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Therefore, other NFL teams should avoid trading for Richard Sherman because a significant amount of those teams have their cornerbacks follow a receiver all over the field. In these situations, the cornerback must figure out where the receiver is going and proceed to make the proper first step. For instance, if they are aligned on the right side of the field, and the receiver goes towards the inside, the cornerback must step to the left with his right leg to open up his hips in that direction. As a result, they can limit the amount of distance between them and the receiver. However, since Sherman has been playing in a cover three defense, he isn’t used to opening his hips in both directions. For example, right now he is only used to opening his hips towards the sideline which means that if he is on the right side, he uses the left leg and steps to the right. The easiest way to beat him is by going towards the middle of the field where he has to go in that direction.

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Due to this, if a team were to acquire him they would need to give him anywhere between a couple of games to a full season to adjust to opening his hips in both directions. But unfortunately, he won’t get this opportunity because the team will have to give up multiple draft picks to acquire his services. As a result, the front office and ownership are going to put pressure on the coaching staff to feature Sherman against number one receivers for the entire game. This is because they want to give Sherman as many chances as possible to prove that trading for him was a worthy investment. Therefore Sherman will have a less than stellar season because receivers will attack the middle of the field which is his current weakness.

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