SEATTLE ‐ After the game, as players congregated near midfield, Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. sought out Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman. Beckham wanted to shake hands and share a few words with the All-Pro corner he spent most of the afternoon battling.
The two met near midfield after a 38-17 Seahawks win when Beckham finished with seven catches on nine targets for 108 yards, including 44 on this nasty double move. Beckham eventually left with Sherman's jersey as a souvenir.
But before that exchange was made, and after Sherman said little to him during the game, the loquacious Seahawk had a message for the Giants' first-round pick.
"'You're the real deal. You just have to keep working,'" Sherman said, according to Beckham. "And he was kind of telling me some of the things that were going on and some of the things he was seeing. He said, 'You're going to be a great player. Keep working.'"
Beckham made a strong impression with his play on Sunday in his fifth career game. He was targeted five times in 1-on-1 coverage against Sherman. He caught four passes for 66 yards. The other attempt was intercepted, although of little fault to Beckham.
Sherman wasn't the only one who left the CenturyLink Field Sunday afternoon with a positive impression of the explosive rookie. Those days in the spring, summer and early fall where Beckham was hampered by a hamstring injury are clearly a thing of the past.
"I thought Beckham was really good," Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. "He really came out of there and he was the big factor early on ... I thought he showed that he was a really good football player [Sunday], and they've got a great one in that kid."
Sherman agreed with the assessment. He raved about Beckham's ability as well. No wonder he was selected out of LSU with the 12th-overall pick earlier this year.
"Beckham is a great player," Sherman said. "They have to depend on him. They have to take risks. They have to take shots in a game like this. That was his shot [on the interception]. He was able to get one earlier, which was a great play by him. Unfortunately, they weren't about to get this."
Sherman is a pretty good player too. He is a two-time All-Pro, and his coach said he's been more consistent this season than in the past.
The Seahawks, however, played their fair share of zone coverage on Sunday afternoon against the Giants. Sherman remained at his traditional left cornerback spot. So he didn't go head-to-head with Beckham the entire game.
Still, it was more often than not. Beckham, who vowed last week to not back down, lived up to his promise. He relished and took full advantage of the opportunity for a national audience to see.
"That's everything I could have asked for," he said. "Thinking back to a year ago and watching Sherman and all the things that went down and everything behind him ‐ the Joe Hadens, the Patrick Petersons, why would you not want to go against those guys?
"This is what you come here to do. You come here to be the best, play against the best. Why not have that mentality?"
That should be a rhetorical question. Sherman has shut down many a wide receivers before, especially in the raucous Seattle environment. He beats receivers up at the line of scrimmage and plays especially physical before blanketing them downfield.
Beckham (5-11, 198) had a plan. He countered by bringing it as well.
"You have to be [physical]," he said. "If you go against a guy like that and you just sit back and try and play patty cake, he's going to win. So you just have to go at him."
Beckham did, and had plenty of success. No wonder Sherman was sold on the 22-year-old receiver's future.
By Jordan Raanan | nj.com | November 10, 2014