Ahead of the 2018 NFL season, fans of the San Francisco 49ers are excited – for the first time in a while.
That’s because there’s a real belief around the team, one that suggests they can finish with a winning record this year – for the first time since 2013.
In fact, that belief has been building since a certain quarterback was traded to the West Coast back in October.
THE GAROPPOLO EFFECT
As the trade deadline loomed, the 49ers confirmed a blockbuster deal – taking New England Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo away from Foxborough.
The now 26-year-old was always tipped as Tom Brady’s eventual replacement but was barely given a chance to show that with the Pats.
But within weeks of moving to San Francisco, the backup showed exactly why he could have been the G.O.A.T.’s long-term successor.
He started the last five games of the 2017 season – and led the 49ers to a win in each of them.
With that strong finish, fans started to get excited for 2018 – and the team didn’t rest there – making another big acquisition in the offseason too.
On March 9, Richard Sherman was released by the Seattle Seahawks. Less than 24 hours later, he became San Francisco’s newest cornerback.
In 2017, he only played nine games after rupturing his Achilles – but Sherman’s talent is certainly there for all to see.
In six and a half seasons with the Seahawks, he was a four-time Pro Bowler, he led the league in interceptions in 2013 and was an integral part of his team’s Super Bowl win in 2014.
Coming off the back of a pretty serious injury, it may take Sherman a little time to re-adjust to being back on the football field again.
But that’s what pre-season training is for. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, the cameras were rolling when he was embarrassed by one of his new teammates.
In one of his first drills with the 49ers, Sherman was lining up against wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.
And it’s fair to say, when they ran the drill, that Goodwin absolutely toasted his defender – blazing past him before catching a ball deep.
Check out the moment below – it’s certainly one Sherman won’t want to see again.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF PLAYMAKER
Now, of course, the 49ers didn’t sign their new cornerback for plays like this. Goodwin is one of the fastest players in the NFL, so Sherman, coming off an injury, never really had a chance.
Still, though, NFL fans were quick to point out how embarrassing that moment was.
Next time, Sherman will be hoping to get a little closer to his man – or at least, he’ll hope that the camera isn’t running.