Bucs add Sherman to list of stars

by Gary Shelton on September 30, 2021

in general

Bucs' secondary has a new leader./TORI RICHMOND/Tampa Bay Bucs

Say hello to the Tampa Bay Bucs, where yesterday's stars try for more tomorrows.

The Bucs, no longer undefeated but still highly regarded, added another jewel to the crown Wednesday when they signed five-time Pro Bowler Richard Sherman to the team. Sherman, 33, made his name with Seattle and San Francisco.

With Sherman's addition, the Bucs have one more member of the 2010 all-decade team. Others are Tom Brady, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski. All of them believe they still have fuel in the tank.

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Evidently, the Bucs believe it, too.

"A veteran, experienced guy who's been a Pro Bowl player," Bucs' coach Bruce Arians said. "One of the smartest players – having gone against ‘Sherm’ it's really odd to see him on our team. We've battled many, many times over the years. But yeah, we're really glad to have him and obviously he's got a lot to learn and get into football speed right now. It's a really good addition."

Arians said the Sherman, with so much terminology to learn, might not be ready to play Sunday unless injuries demand it.

"I mean he's got so much to learn, and he hasn't had pads on in so long," Arians said. "But he does know how to play the game. It's a good fit, it's just so much terminology that's so different from where he's been that these guys learn."

Sherman has no doubt about what he can bring to the Bucs.

“The same thing I usually bring – I think I bring a level of leadership and accountability," Sherman said. "I think I bring a high level of play. I think sometimes from the outside looking in people think, he’s this old and that changes the way you play, but it really doesn’t. My standard of play is just higher. The standards that people hold me to are just higher. I’m not allowed to have bad games. I’m not allowed to give up catches without getting killed. I think the accountability part, I’ll bring that, and hopefully I’ll earn the respect of my teammates.” 

Already, he has the respect of Brady. It was Brady's phone call that sealed the deal.

"Tampa is the most aggressive," Sherman said. "Tom [Brady] has actually called. Once he calls, it’s like you better come or you’re going to regret not coming. That’s what it seems like. That definitely went into the conversation, and (my wife) was right on board. She thought this would give me the best opportunity to go do what I love, to go play at a high level and to have a chance at chasing a trophy. Obviously in San Francisco they have a fantastic team, as well, so the opportunity would have been there as well. But it’s a fun environment. I tried to wait as long as I could to avoid the heat – not heat, but whatever this is – but I think I timed it right.

We exchanged jerseys maybe 4-5 years ago and he said, ‘I’m still mad, bro.’ He wrote it on the jersey. He’s a great sport about everything. He’s just a competitor. We are a lot of the same spirit in that regard. Anything that it takes to win – [we are] obsessed about this game. A lot of what Kobe Bryant stood for – the late great. You can appreciate that about each other. That’s what kind of attracted me to come because I know that he’s the same kind of animal I am. For better or for worse – you’ll do whatever it takes to get these wins and to find a way to get your team where they need to be.”

The Bucs play in Foxboro on Sunday night at 8:25 p.m.

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