Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman penned an article about the position on The Players Tribune. He goes in-depth talking about the nuances of cornerback. He also describes some of the subtle differences in the way he plays opposed to the way Darrelle Revis plays.
Revis and I both play at the line of scrimmage, but he plays it totally different than I do. People look at us and say, “They’re both at the line of scrimmage, so they’re both playing press. So it’s the same.”
That’s what it looks like — but we’re actually playing two different versions of press.
Revis uses a technique some corners call soft-shoeing. It’s where you stand at the line of scrimmage — in press — and slowly shuffle back off the line at the snap and mirror the receiver. It’s a pretty common way of playing press, and Revis is very adept at it.
The technique we use in Seattle is a little different. Ours is more of a true press. Some people call it a read-step, or a kick-step. The real difference is that it’s more aggressive than soft-shoeing. Instead of backpedaling and mirroring the receiver, we stand in there. We don’t give. We don’t take a step until the receiver’s first movement, and then we kick back in the direction the receiver releases.
But that’s what I do well. I’m stepping and kicking, and Revis is soft-shoeing. That’s one of the reasons it’s so difficult to compare us. My technique doesn’t work for him, and his doesn’t work for me. It’s just two different ways to skin a cat.
It is a really interesting article that will teach you a lot about the cornerback position.
I think an article like this shows you not just the difference between comparing Revis and Sherman but comparing two players in this sport. The roles vary so wildly even within the same position that value can be very difficult to measure.