Giants receivers eager to match up with Seahawks’ Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman will talk even if he needs to wear a balaclava all game.
Credit: Getty Images

As the Giants prepare for the Seahawks, they’re not only getting ready for one of the league’s elite, but also a squad that’s a polar opposite.

While the Giants (5-8) are one of the league’s flagship franchises and stand for history, legacy and ownership that will always allow just one voice, the youthful and brass Seahawks (11-2) are an outfit that thrive on emotion, a rah-rah atmosphere and encourages their players to exercise freedom of speech.

Other than their head coach, the fiery Pete Carroll, perhaps no other Seahawk embodies a confidence as high as Pro Bowl cornerback Richard Sherman. A first-team All Pro, Sherman, 25, is a former Stanford star who came into the league with a sizeable chip on his shoulder after falling to the fifth round (154th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. He’s known as one of the best cover corners in the league — and may also be the preeminent trash talker in the NFL.

Giants wideout Victor Cruz said he won’t pay Sherman’s mouth any mind, as he reasoned he’s more concerned with not allowing the physical Sherman (6-foot-3, 195 pounds) to manhandle him at the line of scrimmage.

“There’s nothing a defensive back can say that’s going to bother me, even if he talks all game, so I don’t have to prepare for that. I don’t really buy into it. It doesn’t faze me at all,” said Cruz. “He does a good job of getting his hands on you and moving his feet and doing some good things. He’s a very cerebral player. He understands routes and route combinations and stuff like that. It’s going to be a challenge … but obviously it’s something that we can rise up to and be able to combat and it should be a good battle come Sunday.”

Sherman is tied for first on the team with four interceptions and is fifth with 32 solo tackles, so it shows he’s often around the ball. But he isn’t the only concern for the Giants, as the defense is ranked No. 1 in the league in total yards allowed (second in points allowed) due to stars at every level.

What separates Seattle from most every team in the league, though, is their secondary’s ability to match up man-to-man without the aid of gimmicks, zones or blitzes.

The Seahawks’ secondary is so physical and abnormally large for defensive backs (an average of 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds) that their “Legion of Boom” moniker arguably makes as much sense as any other nickname in the league.

“They just don’t make many mistakes,” noted Manning. “They play fast and they do everything pretty well.”

Antrel Rolle, himself an outspoken defensive back, added his two cents on his counterparts, expressing respect for his fellow gumflappers.

“I think their confidence is the key to their success, without a doubt,” said Rolle. “When you look at each and every position, I think they play with a lot of confidence. I think they play extremely fast, and more importantly, they play together. … You can tell that they’re trusting the guy next to them.”

Big Blue notes …

» Cruz leads the Giants with 71 catches for 973 yards. He needs just 27 yards to join Del Shofner, Homer Jones and Amani Toomer as the only receivers in Giants history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

The Giants are merely playing for pride, but for the Seahawks, they’re playing for so much more. Currently the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, should Seattle win on Sunday, they’ll lock up homefield advantage for the postseason.

If the season ended today, the Giants would own the No. 12 pick in the 2014 draft, as they are one of four teams with a record of 5-8. They’d be behind the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans and ahead of the St. Louis Rams in draft order based on a more difficult strength-of-schedule tiebreaker. There are five teams with records of 4-9, so it is conceivable, with a 0-3 finish, the Giants could work their way up to the No. 5 pick. They haven’t had a top-10 pick since going No. 4 in 2004 (when they traded with the San Diego Chargers to get Manning), and before that, their most recent top-10 pick was 1997, when they took wideout Ike Hilliard at No. 7.

Follow Giants beat writer Tony Williams on Twitter @TBone8.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…

Style

Sarah Doukas on social media, models and diversity

The maker of Kate Moss tells Metro how social media can drive the diversity change in the fashion industry.