Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

26 Feb 2014

Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis: The Numbers, The Tape, The Verdict

During the offseason, there is a lot of time to kill. Some people take holidays, some people focus on the draft and some people watch a lot of really bad TV. Me? I spend my time writing about cornerbacks.

Analysis of the cornerback position is more reliant on a player's reputation and the narrative surrounding that player than any other in today's NFL. Because most of their work comes off camera and because analysts during the season have more important things to focus on, there isn't a mainstream avenue for in-depth cornerback analysis.

On my own website Pre-Snap Reads, I evaluate cornerbacks in great detail, every single snap in fact. It uses analytics but emphasizes the importance of context through tape breakdowns and situational analysis.

This year's series starts off with a look at Richard Sherman and Darrelle Revis.

Posted by: Cian Fahey on 26 Feb 2014

13 comments, Last at 02 Mar 2014, 4:15am by Blykmyk44


by Guest789 :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 8:36pm

Is there supposed to be a link in the title?


“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

by Ben :: Wed, 02/26/2014 - 9:34pm

Please do Vontae Davis. As he's a free agent, there's a lot of debate among Colts fans to whether he's worth paying as a top CB.

by Perfundle :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 2:34pm

"However, Revis moves around the field and teams appear to genuinely fear throwing his way more than Sherman."

I haven't watched Tampa much this year, but going by PFF's project lineups (https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/02/12/projected-lineups-tampa...), the other CBs and safeties aren't very good, so maybe that plays into it as well, especially compared to Seattle's non-Sherman options.

"Sherman [...] completely takes away the deep sideline."
It looks like both of them completely take away the deep sideline.

Also, for the "Results versus Routes" section, it would be very helpful to see how many of each type of route each DB faced, so as to see how QBs preferred to challenge them, and maybe the average DVOA rating of the receivers for each group. For Revis in 2011, for instance, we should see pretty high DVOA ratings across the board.

by Noah Arkadia :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:37am

Link, please.

The man with no sig

by nat :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 11:54am

The names of the players in the summary are links. There are two separate articles.

by mathesond :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:03pm

The links are in the player names at the bottom of the post

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/01/2014 - 10:40am


The man with no sig

by Sisyphus :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 12:09pm

(The links are on the player names.)
I was rather disappointed in your coverage on Sherman regarding the Indianapolis game and his problems with T Y Hilton. We tend to learn more from failures than successes so I would be interested in what was the issue with press coverage against Hilton. This was by far his worse performance of the season and arguably was the biggest factor in that loss. Is this something that was purely an aberration or is it an exploitable flaw?

by Led :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 1:13pm

In the GIF'd play Hilton's release is sick. Just a really, really good move. On that play, at least, you just have to tip your hat to the receiver.

As far as Sherman's ability to take away the sideline, on a couple of those plays the receiver got separation and a better throw -- deeper and on the outside shoulder -- would have resulted in a completion. The coverage was still pretty good through because it forced a difficult throw. I've watched a lot of Revis (although not so much this year) and his positioning on sideline routes is better (at least based on the few Sherman examples provided) and more effectively pins the receiver on the boundary to virtually eliminate the possibility of a deep completion. That technique makes him more susceptible to the back should throw, however, whereas it appears to me that Sherman is brutally effective at taking that away. So the difference may be a function of technique/scheme.

by Perfundle :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 2:26pm

Maybe Sherman's longer wingspan makes up for that larger separation he gives the receiver?

by Blykmyk44 :: Sun, 03/02/2014 - 4:15am

Yep. You hear that Sherman is out of position and if the QB just made a better throw it'd be a gain...yet Sherman consistently makes interceptions. Clearly he is using his height as an advantage and/or the QB isn't used to having to throw the ball that far on the sideline routes.

by RickD :: Thu, 02/27/2014 - 5:38pm

Good stuff.

by Noah Arkadia :: Sat, 03/01/2014 - 11:11am

Fabulous stuff. Thanks to to others for pointing out the links.

The man with no sig