NFC West: Cassius Clay
March, 8, 2013
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Richard Sherman and Steven Jackson rescued a slow Thursday in the NFC West. We'll deal with some of the fallout here.
- On Sherman: Anyone familiar with "First Take" has, from time to time, probably wanted to grab co-host Skip Bayless by the shoulders and shake him. That reaction is inherent to the debate format. Bayless knows how to push buttons. Sherman naturally wanted to set straight Bayless for suggesting the Seattle Seahawks cornerback wasn't nearly as good as Darrelle Revis. The facts Sherman brought to the discussion were sufficient for him to score a knockout. There was no need for him to keep landing shots after the bell, no matter how good it must have felt. He came off as mean-spirited, a departure from his usual playful form. Something about Bayless set him off. Sherman demanding that Bayless address him as "All-Pro Stanford graduate" reminded me of the former Cassius Clay angrily pummeling Ernie Terrell while demanding Terrell call him by his new name, Muhammad Ali. The point was valid, but after a while, it was uncomfortable to watch.
- On Jackson: The St. Louis Rams' running back made it clear through his comments to SiriusXM Radio that he's moving on from the team. Jackson pointed to disagreement over what his role would have been had he stayed in St. Louis. The Rams saw this coming last offseason. They were the ones who willingly gave Jackson the ability to void the final year of his contract. That move cleared the way for Jackson to leave the team gracefully. It spared the Rams from releasing their career rushing leader and the most respected player in their locker room. It's an upset if Jackson returns to the team because both sides appear ready to move on. On the other hand, what is Jackson going to find in the marketplace other than a reduced role?
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