Richard Sherman is a pest. Quarterbacks hate him for his shutdown coverage and non-stop smack talk, and they're not the only ones.
Of course, receivers get fed up with the 49ers' star cornerback. But sometimes even offensive linemen have a war of words with him. Joe Staley was one of them when Sherman was Public Enemy No. 1 on the Seattle Seahawks.
"We were rivals to the umpteenth degree," Sherman said Wednesday morning on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show. "Joe doesn't talk a lot on the field but if he was gonna talk, he was gonna talk with me. He's gonna give me his mind.
"It's not PG. We've had our back and forth over the years."
That changed once Sherman changed sides of the rivalry before the 2018 season. Staley and Sherman became close and completely respected each other as teammates.
Well, not right away. Staley had to jokingly let Sherman know how he previously felt about him once he joined the team.
"Once I got into the locker room as a 49er, his locker was literally across the way from mine," Sherman said. "He's on one corner, I'm on the other. He came up to me and was like, 'I used to hate you.'
"It was funny because I think he had a different impression of who I was and as he got to know me it was like, 'You're just a super competitive dude who wants to do anything to get under people's skin. But when you're on the same team, you're fantastic to be around.' "
[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]
Over his nine-year career -- two with the 49ers and seven with the Seahawks -- Sherman hasn't had many teammates like Staley. It didn't take long to go from foes to friends.
"He was one of the best teammates I've ever had. I enjoyed being around him, I enjoyed his demeanor, his leadership, his conversations -- it's just sad you lose a guy and he deserves the right to retire on his own terms. It's just unfortunate."
Now that Staley is gone, Sherman knows the 49ers lost a key voice in the locker room and a major part of this team's leadership. People like Staley don't come around too often.
It will be hard enough to replace Staley on the field. Losing him off of it will be even tougher.
"That's gonna be a huge loss for us," Sherman said. "He's just an incredible human being, infectious energy. A great knowledge of the game and he just knows what people need. He knows how to lead men."
When Joe Staley told Richard Sherman 'I used to hate you' in locker room originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area