NFL cornerbacks are a funny bunch.
Wide receivers used to be known as the “divas” of pro football, constantly bickering among themselves about who was better than whom.
While there’s still a good amount of “hey, look at me” among Odell Beckham Jr. — I mean, NFL receivers, the perception is now that cornerbacks are the most catty players in the league.
Every offseason, the league’s elite corners seemingly take turns propping themselves up and declaring they’re the best while taking shots at other great players who happen to play the same position.
Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks is one such player. There’s no debating Sherman’s skills — he’s easily one of the most respected and least-challenged corners in the league. He’s a three-time Pro Bowler and has been a big part of two NFC Championship teams and a Super Bowl-winning squad.
But he’s often taken shots at other players around the league, including Arizona Cardinals All-Pro Patrick Peterson.
In 2014, Sherman did an interview with NBC’s Bob Costas during which he may have intimated he thought Peterson was overrated.
“You give up eight touchdowns in a year, it’s hard to put you in that discussion,” he said. “I think at the end of the day, the tape will speak for itself. I don’t know if everybody’s compared on an even scale or how they’re comparing everything, but I don’t know if he should be mentioned with us.
“If gave up that many touchdowns, I think I’d be benched on our team. We have a level of accountability, and that’s what we strive for. You can’t give up big plays like that and still play (on our team).”
This was on the heels of an entertaining Twitter battle between the two with contracts being at the heart of the matter.
But now, Sherman is propping up his division foe.
In a piece written for The Player’s Tribune, Sherman answers questions about playing the position and some of the other great cornerbacks in the league, including Peterson.
But no matter what technique you play, you have to have an incredible amount of respect for a guy like Patrick Peterson, who has tremendous athletic ability. Some of the freaky things he can do, other elite corners will look at and say, “There’s no way my body could do that.”
There was one play against the Jets a few years ago where he was covering on a post and he got beat. I mean, the receiver had at least two steps on him. He was rolling, with no safety over the top.
But once the ball was in the air, you could see Pat just close the gap, and….
He jumped right over the receiver’s head and stole the ball.
It was an incredible play that he shouldn’t have been able to get away with. It should have been a touchdown. It didn’t get a lot of recognition on SportsCenter’s Top 10 or anything, but as a corner, you see a play like that, and you appreciate it. You appreciate it because you’ve been in that situation. You understand what it takes to make a play like that — the fight, the moving parts, the level of difficulty.
When I was growing up, I used to watch guys like Deion Sanders, Charles Woodson, Rod Woodson — guys who went and got the ball.
Patrick Peterson is one of those guys.
The Cardinals and Seahawks will meet at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale on Oct. 23 in a nationally-televised Sunday night game. Regardless of what side you’re on, the contest will feature two of the best defensive backs in the league.