Richard Sherman has embraced confrontation throughout his career and usually gotten the better of his rivals.
One feud the 49ers cornerback did not completely win was his 2013 skirmish with then-Redskins offensive lineman Trent Williams, who San Francisco acquired Saturday from Washington in a move that should protect him from future bell-ringing.
After Sherman’s Seahawks beat the Redskins in a wild-card clash, Sherman took a strong right hand to the face from Williams, somewhat overshadowing his positive defensive performance that night.
“What are you gonna do, boy?” Sherman asked the 318-pounder near midfield.
“I’m gonna punch you in your face.”
“Well do it then.”
Williams proceeded to do exactly what he said he would do. To Sherman’s credit, he stayed on his feet. Still, he seemed too stunned to react.
The incident brought direct parallels to a classic quote given by a soon-to-be stabbed man that has since become a widespread meme.
Don’t ask for what you can’t handle.
Sherman acknowledged his history with Williams on Saturday after learning he would be teammates with the lineman. He seemed to admit Williams got the better of him in 2013, if that wasn’t already clear.
While Sherman often antagonizes opponents, he’s been a steadfast supporter of teammates throughout his career. He took on a vocal leadership role in his first season with the 49ers last year and publicly defended quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from critics.
So, it’s unlikely Sherman will allow his past with Williams get in the way of locker room positivity. If anything, the acquisition of Williams will keep his face safer than it’s been in the past.
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