No one knows the LOB better than Richard Sherman, the lanky corner who once upon a time loudly put that Seattle D on the map. Now with the 49ers, Sherman said on NFL Network's Inside Training Camp Live over the weekend that San Francisco's current defense reminds him of his old squad.
"I see similarities now, obviously, with all the pass rushers we have now, all the talent we have up front," Sherman said. "The linebackers are versatile. They can run, they can cover. And then in the backend, we've got tall, rangy corners. We've got Jason Verrett now, who's very versatile. K'Waun (Williams) is a great slot (corner), and we've got a hitter in the strong safety box.
"So I think we're going to be similar. Obviously, it's the scheme, schematically, it's similar, but we'll see. We've got to be consistent. We've had some really good days out here. You've got to stack them, though, as you know."
The 49ers brought in defensive coordinator Robert Saleh in an effort to import the LOB scheme. Saleh worked in Seattle from 2011-2013 as a quality control coach. He then followed ex-Seahawks DC Gus Bradley to Jacksonville to coach linebackers (2014-2016). Then he was tapped by Kyle Shanahan to lead the 49ers D.
"It does make a huge difference," Sherman said of the pass rush. "No slight to anybody else that came before, but these guys are getting to the passer, and they're putting pressure, making the quarterback uncomfortable in his footwork. So they are airing passes, they're off their back foot, they're not putting it exactly where they want it to be. So that gives DBs a chance."
Coming off an injury last season, Sherman had a down season by his lofty standards. Quarterbacks, however, mostly ignored his side of the field in the crunch, choosing to pick on the less talented corners on the opposite side instead. The addition of Verrett, if he can finally stay healthy, could give the 49ers two lock-down DBs that could make life difficult for opponents.
While the 49ers boast a beastly front, potentially good linebacker corps, and possibly very good corner duo, the safety crew can't match what the Seahawks once boasted with Earl Thomas -- no one can replicate his field-patrolling ability. Still, it's about as close as we've seen to anyone potentially getting in the same vicinity of those LOB teams.