Seattle Seahawks all-pro cornerback Richard Sherman responded to Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s criticism, saying it was “unfortunate” that Cromartie said Sherman wasn’t the league’s best cover corner because he stays on one side of the field.
Sherman said Cromartie should be grateful that because of his team’s participation in the Super Bowl, Cromartie was chosen as an alternate for the Pro Bowl, taking Sherman’s place in the game.
Cromartie said last week that Sherman is a product of his team’s defensive scheme, which allows Sherman to stay on one side of the field.
“Darrelle Revis has done that his whole career. I've done that. Patrick Peterson has done it. Joe Haden has done it. He's the only defensive back that hasn't," Cromartie said of covering both sides of the field. "You want to label yourself as the No. 1 corner, the best corner in the NFL, follow the best guy on every single team."
Sherman, who had 57 total tackles and four interceptions in 2014, says that type of criticism comes with the territory.
“Great players stay on their side and do what they're supposed to do. How many guys have you seen switching from side to side on a No. 1 defense? You've never seen it," Sherman said, according to the Associated Press. "We're the No. 1 defense for a reason. Who coaches a No. 1 defense to be worse?"
Sherman also addressed his elbow injury, suffered in the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers. He played in the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots without being able to extend his left arm.
He says he is lucky he did not have to undergo Tommy John surgery, which would have sidelined him for up to nine months.
"I was relieved. I knew I would never have to throw a left-hand fastball so there was a chance I could avoid it," Sherman said, according to the AP. "I started taking opinions from different players and apparently a lot of O-linemen get the injury and they do just fine with it. I felt confident that I would be able to play without getting the surgery, just rehab."
- Scooby Axson