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Fitzgerald to Sherman: Don't cover a washed-up vet

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Finally allowed to shadow opposing No. 1 receivers, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is coming off his two finest performances of the season.

Sherman held Torrey Smith without a catch in Week 7 and dominated his Week 8 matchup with a rusty Dez Bryant.

Leading up to Sunday night's NFC West clash with the first-place Cardinals, it's natural to wonder if Sherman will be trailing a revitalized Larry Fitzgerald around the gridiron.

"I haven't had 1,000 yards in three years," Fitzgerald quipped, via the Cardinals' official website. "I hope he doesn't follow me. Old, grizzly, washed-up veteran. Go follow Mike (Michael Floyd) or something, or Smoke (John Brown)."

Every game, all season

Leading the team in receptions (55), receiving yards (706) and touchdowns (7), that "old, grizzly, washed-up veteran" earned a spot on Around The NFL's midseason All-Pro squad.

As well as Fitzgerald has played this season, he has a healthy respect for Sherman as a top-notch cornerback.

Sherman is "as good as they come," Fitzgerald said, via The Arizona Republic. "Just in terms of his skill-level and ability. Then you couple that with his intelligence, he's really, really special. You really don't see any holes in his game."

Although Fitzgerald has been Arizona's most consistent threat this season, there are strategic reasons to believe the Seahawks will hesitate to use Sherman in shadow coverage.

"Who would he follow, though?" Fitzgerald wonders. "We're all pretty much the same."

Fitzgerald works primarily out of the slot in Bruce Arians' offense whereas Sherman often covers an outside receiver.

On the off chance that Sherman does stick to Fitzgerald, that would leave red-zone threat Floyd and speedy playmaker Brown to feast on plus matchups with Cary Williams and nickel corner DeShawn Shead on the outside.

Floyd has not only scored in each of the past three games, but has also come close to three or four more touchdowns during that span. Brown is just three weeks removed from a 10-catch, 196-yard performance in Pittsburgh.

It's one thing for Sherman to shut down the No. 1 receivers for Colin Kaepernick and Matt Cassel. It would be a poor use of resources, however, to limit his coverage to Fitzgerald, leaving an MVP-caliber Carson Palmer to dissect Seattle's secondary with pinpoint throws to Floyd, Brown and Arizona's diverse collection of tailbacks and tight ends.

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