Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is backing up his smack talk with his play on the field, and those who follow the NFL are taking notice.
He’s gone so far that Jim Rome (a.k.a. “The King of Smack”) has crowned Sherman as the “next great trash talker.”
Don’t take it the wrong way. Coming from Rome, that’s a badge of honor the Seahawks defensive back can wear proudly.
“As a guy who makes my living running smack, I’ve always been on the lookout for the next great trash talker,” Rome said on his radio show Tuesday. “He’s straight out of Compton and a Stanford man, and he is not afraid of Hall of Famers.”
The most recent Hall of Famer on Sherman’s radar was Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson. Before the game in Detroit, Sherman went ahead and changed his Twitter handle to “Optimus Prime” in preparation for lining up across from Megatron.
Following the game, Tacoma News Tribune staff writer Eric D. Williams quoted Sherman on how he felt the matchup turned out.
“I mean, you see his numbers – they speak for themselves,” Sherman said. “He was a non-factor. So, you know, that’s how that went.”
Though Sherman stayed quiet throughout his rookie season last year, he quickly gained attention on the national stage this year when he tweeted out a picture of himself getting in Tom Brady’s face after the Seahawks’ win over the New England Patriots.
The photo had the question, “U MAD BRO?” directly above Sherman’s head with Brady providing no acknowledgement to the Seahawks corner.
Sherman’s talk comes across more playful than disrespectful, which inspires comparisons to former Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Johnson.
“Sherm is like the reverse Ocho Cinco: a DB who says what he’s going to do to wideouts every single week,” said Rome.
Just like Johnson, putting the pressure on himself to not only talk a big game but having to back it up on the field can provide extra motivation.
There could be another motivating factor as well. As the only member of the Seahawks secondary not to make it to the Pro Bowl last year, this national attention combined with his play on the field could be his ticket to Honolulu this season.