Richard Sherman has been a 49er for nearly four months now, but coach Kyle Shanahan admitted he wasn’t initially a “huge fan” of the former Seahawks star and his view of Sherman has changed since he joined San Francisco.
“I’ve played against him a ton and wasn’t a huge fan of him. Always respected him, but he drove me crazy just like he’s probably driven every Niners fan crazy,” Shanahan told KNBR.
“You get an impression of guys when you see them on TV and stuff. I know he’s been outspoken and things like that so I know everyone has their own opinion of that, but you don’t know someone until you talk to them.”
Shanahan said his impression changed during the offseason when he went to dinner with Sherman to discuss the possibility of the cornerback playing in San Francisco, which resulted in him signing a three-year deal with the 49ers just a few days later.
“Very quickly the first night I met Richard, going out to dinner with him, him and his wife for about four hours, you realize that there’s a reason he’s so successful,” Shanahan added. “That guy, he’s very confident — he’ll let you know, he’ll say it — but it’s not a show. He believes it, that’s his mindset.
“He’s as competitive a person as I’ve been around, and that’s his edge. He’s extremely talented, but there are other guys who have been as talented as him that he’s passed up each year in the league, and he’s had seven years of working the way he has, having that mindset. That’s why I think when I first saw him, ‘Hey we can get after this guy, no he got us.’ What is it? He’s competitive, he works at everything, he’s not scared to fail, he’ll put himself out there and I love for our young guys to see that.”
Sherman is coming off season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles but cleared a physical a day before the team’s training camp started, although, the cornerback left practice early Friday with tightness in his hamstring.