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Marquise Goodwin can't wait to see Sherman silence critics

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- It has been a month since one of Richard Sherman's first practice reps in training camp went viral, and the San Francisco 49ers teammate who ran past Sherman that day has been wanting to talk about it ever since.

Not because Marquise Goodwin wants to boast about showing off his world-class speed after getting off the line with a triple move against Sherman, a four-time Pro Bowl pick in Seattle who had his 2017 season ended by a major injury, who was released and signed a three-year, $27.15 million deal with the Seahawks' NFC West rivals in March.

"People want to bring up the play I beat him in 1-on-1s and a couple other plays, and I've just been waiting to address it," Goodwin told me Tuesday, standing at his locker after practice. "Even though you didn't ask me about it, I want to put it out there: The man (is) a gamer, man. Get off his back, because there's proof in the pudding. He's proved he's worthy of being a top player in this league.

"To get beat at practice, it don't mean nothing. I got jammed up today by Sherm, and that don't mean nothing. It's iron sharpening iron. That's what we do. You want him to get beat at practice so he'll know what to work on before he get to the game."

That mirrors the message 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan delivered in a team meeting after that July 29 matchup, complimenting Sherman for being aggressive in his return from a torn Achilles suffered Nov. 9. Goodwin -- a four-time NCAA All-American in track and field who competed in the long jump at the 2012 Summer Olympics -- emphasized Monday he didn't know he'd be going against Sherman that day and had already decided to run a go route. To Sherman's credit, Goodwin said, he didn't pull the veteran move of grabbing his hamstring or acting like he wasn't trying to go full speed, instead chasing Goodwin all the way downfield.

On Saturday, Sherman returned to game action, starting at left cornerback and playing 34 snaps in an exhibition loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

"I feel pretty good," Sherman told me Tuesday. "I didn't really touch anybody, so there wasn't much (toll) body-wise. The footwork was fine. Just rusty in some aspects, but you kind of expect it."

Sherman is playing a familiar spot in a familiar defense, coordinated by former Seahawks assistant Robert Saleh. He's playing on a team that hopes to pick up where it left off offensively, having won five straight games with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback to end last season, which would ease pressure on the defense. Sherman feels all he lacks right now are reps to get back to top form at age 30.

The first real test comes in the Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, who have a new quarterback, Kirk Cousins, and new offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo, who is expected to push the ball vertically with receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs -- the type of route everyone saw Goodwin beat Sherman on way back at the start of camp.

Asked by another reporter if he expects Cousins to test him early, Sherman said every cornerback expects the ball to come his way. If that happens, Goodwin knows what he expects Sherman to do.

"I know that man is a gamer and he's going to be ready Week 1 through Week 16, 17. For sure," Goodwin said. "He's one of the players on this team that I'm really looking forward to see shut all these haters up."

Follow Tom Pelissero on Twitter @TomPelissero.

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