Of all the things Richard Sherman has been for the Seahawks, a Pro Bowl cornerback was not one of them. That changed Friday, when Sherman joined Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas, Max Unger, Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson as Pro Bowl selections.
Richard Sherman has been many things in his short tenure with the Seahawks.
Fifth-round draft choice (2011). Third-option starter at right cornerback (also 2011). All-Pro (2012). NFL leader in interceptions (20) and passes defensed (59) since 2011. NFL interception leader (eight in 2013).
And now, Pro Bowl corner.
Sherman was among six Seahawks named to the Pro Bowl on Friday, along with free safety Earl Thomas, strong safety Kam Chancellor, center Max Unger, running back Marshawn Lynch and quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks also had three alternates – kicker Steven Hauschka, tackle Russell Okung and punt returner Golden Tate.
“It’s a great honor, I guess, to be recognized like that,” Sherman said. “But it’s more a testament to your teammates and everything we were able to do as a defense. We’re No. 1 in so many statistical categories, so that just shows how good a year we’re having as a team and as a defense and as an offense.
“That’s reflected in how many people we have in the Pro Bowl. So it’s a great honor for the team.”
Not to mention an overdue honor for Sherman. Thomas and Lynch have been to the past two Pro Bowls. Unger and Wilson went last year. Chancellor went in 2011. But last year, Sherman was snubbed, despite being voted All-Pro.
The six selections this season tie the number of Seahawks who went last year, which was one shy of the franchise record from 1984 that was tied by the 2005 team. Those teams posted the best records in club history – 13-3 in ’05 and 12-4 in ’84. This year’s team can claim its 13th victory with a win over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
As former coach Mike Holmgren always used to say, individual honors are directly related to team success. And he’ll get no argument from Thomas.
“It’s going to keep growing, because we push each other,” the three-time Pro Bowl free safety said. “We always talk about we want to make history, we want to leave our mark on this earth. This is how we’re going to do it – by producing the best athletes in the world.
“I think coach (Pete) Carroll and his staff and (general manager) John Schneider and his staff are going to keep producing them because they have a way of finding guys that are hungry and love the game. And when you love the game it always shows.”
Unger is the only one of the Seahawks’ Pro Bowl Six who was with the team when Carroll and Schneider arrived in 2010, but he had been playing guard after being a second-round pick in 2009. While Thomas was a first-round draft choice in that first year under Carroll, Wilson was a third-round draft choice (2012); Chancellor (2010) and Sherman (2011) were selected in the fifth round; and Lynch was acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills midway through the 2010 season.
Of course, the Seahawks players are hoping they won’t be able to play in the Pro Bowl, because it will be held Jan. 26 in Honolulu – the Sunday before Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands.
This is the first year that the Pro Bowl players were not voted in by conference. Instead, those selected will be drafted onto teams during a Pro Bowl Draft on Jan. 22 on the NFL Network.
Whether he plays in the Pro Bowl or not, Sherman is glad to have the honor that somehow eluded him last season.
“It’s kind of ridiculous how that turned out last year,” Sherman said. “I’m just glad they got it right this year.”