Richard Sherman, apparently, hasn't liked Tom Brady since he was 13 years old. Now that's dedication.
Seattle Times columnist Jerry Brewer wrote an intriguing profile on the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, his Compton, Calif. roots and that tendency to talk trash. In it, Sherman's older brother, Branton, revealed the dislike for Brady was birthed in 2002 with the Tuck Rule game. Sherman hates the tuck rule. That's probably not an uncommon feeling amongst those who lived in Southern California that year.
That's all part of Sherman's personality. He holds grudges. Sherman's still ticked about being a fifth-round draft pick. He's still angry about the whole drug-test fiasco. Those and other slights, perceived or actual, fuel the first-time All-Pro, whom ProFootballFocus.com ranks the most effective cornerback in the NFL. He already has 12 interceptions in his two-year NFL career.
"That chip on his shoulder now is going to turn into a full plate of nachos," Branton said about the drug-test issue.
Sherman loves a challenge, and the Atlanta Falcons bring, arguably, the best receiver tandem in the NFL. Roddy White and Julio Jones combined for 171 catches for 2,549 yards and 17 touchdowns. And these aren't tiny slot receivers running short, quick routes. These are downfield threats that measure 6-foot and 6-3 with speed. (Oh, and we all should hope that either Sherman or White is wearing a microphone because White isn't a quiet, shy guy either.)
Sherman and Seahawks teammate Brandon Browner might be the best cornerback duo in the league. The winner of this matchup likely advances to the NFC Championship Game, as the Falcons become a much more pedestrian team when dependent on the run.
And that's the only way Sherman's inner 13-year-old will get a chance to see Brady in these playoffs.