49ers' Richard Sherman defends Jimmy Garoppolo from absurd criticism

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SANTA CLARA -- Richard Sherman's best defensive play Sunday night might actually have come at the podium after the 49ers' 37-8 win over the Packers when he backed Jimmy Garoppolo for well over a minute and a half.

Sherman typically shouts out players whom he believes deserve more credit for playing well, but the 49ers cornerback's speech about his quarterback was one for the ages.

"You hear some of the noise and things said about him, and it's frustrating, because we see him every day," Sherman said. "We see what kind of work ethic he puts in, the hours he puts in preparing -- the first one in, the last one out. The guy looks for no credit. All he does is encourage his teammates and put more work in.

"And then you have people nit-picking. We run for 300 yards, and they're like, ‘Well, he didn't throw a lot.' We ran for 300 yards! You know, then he throws for 400, and they're like, ‘Well, I think he got out-played by Kyler Murray.' And Kyler Murray barely had 100 yards passing [150 yards on 24-of-33 passing last week]. And you start to laugh at these things, but you're like, the goalposts keep moving with him.

"And the one thing you can appreciate -- and I've said this before -- you can appreciate being good enough that people got to make excuses for why you're good. He's a good enough quarterback that people have to make excuses, they have to move the bar. …

"What else can the guy do? He's helping his football team win football games, and he deserves a ton more credit for that."

It began innocently enough, with a reporter's question about why it's important to have a quarterback who will gather the offense for a pep talk of sorts after its production had stalled. Sherman then went on to talk about the outside voices who haven't appreciated what Garoppolo, who threw two touchdown passes in the win, has done behind the scenes, let alone what he has done on the field for the 10-1 49ers.

"It's incredibly important," Sherman said. "He's the leader of the team. The quarterback is the leader of this team. Jimmy Garoppolo is our leader, and we will follow him into the darkest of dark. We will follow him into a dark alley, and I guarantee that you won't touch him.

"He goes into battle and fights for us every day, and we have an obligation to go and battle for him."

[RELATED: 49ers 'pumped' about where season can go after rout of Packers]

While Sherman was on his soapbox, Garoppolo stood around the corner within earshot, occasionally chuckling. He deflected Sherman's compliments, choosing to praise the veteran corner instead.

"Sherm is one of those guys," Garoppolo said. "Whatever he says, it carries a lot of weight in the locker room with our guys. He's just a leader of the team, he's been here before, and he just sets a great example the moment he walks into the building to when he leaves."

49ers' Richard Sherman defends Jimmy Garoppolo from absurd criticism originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area