49ers star Richard Sherman is taking notice of his teammate Jimmie Ward and wants the rest of the league to do so too.
Sherman joined the Cris Collinsworth Podcast (featuring Richard Sherman) to share his high praise for Ward.
“Jimmie Ward is playing outside of his mind,” Sherman told Cris Collinsworth. “He’s honestly one of the best safeties in football, who never gets enough credit.”
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Ward’s PFF Score Jumps After Road Win
Ward had a big Week 12 as the 49ers swept the Rams on the road. He finished the day with five tackles, two forced fumbles, and one pass defended. Pro Football Focus gave Ward a grade of 94.7, which was the highest in his career. The grade also bumped his overall to a 76.6.
Ward’s stellar performance sure didn’t go unnoticed by Sherman.
“In our scheme, he has to do everything,” Sherman said. “He’ll guard their No. 1 receiver, guard their tight end, then blitz, have to open-field tackle and usually he’s the best at all of them. He caused two forced fumbles, and just has been incredibly consistent.”
The Niners signed Ward this past offseason to a three-year, $28.5 million deal. He has played in 11 of San Francisco’s 12 games this season and recorded 58 tackles, four passes defended and two forced fumbles.
Sherman is all on board for Ward taking his success this season to the Pro Bowl.
Ward Discusses Early Season Without Sherman
Ward is well aware of the respect Sherman has off and, especially, on the field as a Niner. When Sherman was out of the lineup, Ward explained what it was like without him.
“You’ve got to be more vocal,” Ward explained via 49ers Webzone. “And also, the ball can go anywhere because when Richard Sherman’s on the field, really, quarterbacks are scared to throw to his side. If he’s not in great shape on a route, quarterbacks still won’t throw to his side. It’s only a handful of quarterbacks that have actually really tried Richard Sherman. He just has that respect and that presence around the league.”
Sherman’s suffered a calf injury in Week 1 which immediately sent him to injured reserve, where he has been most of the season. He finally made his debut in Week 12, the same game Ward had an outstanding day, Sherman recorded seven tackles and an interception. Sherman has 13 tackles, one interception, and one pass defended on the season.
Sherman Is Uncertain About Future In San Fran
Sherman has missed nearly the entire 2020 season which happens to be the final year of his three-year contract as a Niner.
While he said he would like to stay in San Fran, Sherman also didn’t sound too confident if that’s what he wants or what is best.
“I’m definitely playing football [next year],” Sherman told Collinsworth. “I just don’t know where I’m going to play football, unfortunately.”
“… The business of football is just the business of football,” Sherman continued. “It’s undefeated, and I think the organization values me, and I love this organization, and I love this team, but you can’t stop the business of football. They have to do what’s best for them in the long term, and I respect that, and I’ve got to try to do what’s best for me.”
The Niners at least have four more games out of Sherman, but on the bright side ––two more years left of Ward.
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