The Pittsburgh Steelers are anticipating that Richard Sherman will exclusively cover star receiver Antonio Brown when they play the Seattle Seahawks Sunday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers —or at least QB Ben Roethlisberger — think they know the answer to one of the big questions heading into a game Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field.
That question is, will Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman exclusively cover Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown?
Brown ranks second in the NFL in both receptions (79) and receiving yards (1,141), a resume obvious enough to give Seattle reason to want to cover him with Sherman, who has increasingly this season taken on the task of covering a single receiver in a game. Sherman did it again last Sunday when he trailed San Francisco receiver Torrey Smith.
The only question has been whether Brown’s size — he’s listed at 5-10, 181 —might make him a trickier matchup for Sherman, who has always excelled against bigger receivers, in particular, such as Dallas’ Dez Bryant and Cincinnati’s A.J. Green earlier this season.
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Conversely, the Seahawks have an uncertain situation at their other cornerback spot, where Cary Williams was benched last week in favor of DeShawn Shead. Shead has two career starts at safety and nickel but has never started and played an entire game as a boundary corner. And Martavis Bryant, at 6-4, 211, presents his own challenge.
But Roethlisberger, during a conference call this morning with Seatte-area media, said he thinks he knows what the Seahawks will do.
“I would anticipate Richard to follow AB (Brown),” Roethlisberger said. “If you consider AB [Antonio Brown] the best, which we do, and I think they probably consider him one of the best. We consider Richard to be one of the best in the business. We would expect that matchup. It’s such a challenge, and I think one that Antonio’s excited for. If you want to be the best, and me too, if you want to be the best you’ve got to face the best. We consider this defense that we’re going up against one of the best, and obviously Richard to be one of the best.”
Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin was more vague with his response, saying that the Steelers wouldn’t worry about where Sherman lines up and focus on themselves.
The Seahawks will likewise probably not tip their hand during the week, leaving it to gametime to find out for sure.