Sherman a deserving No. 1 for Edwards

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman is the best of the best according to former NFL coach Herm Edwards in an Insider pieceInsider.

“I love his length and his competitive demeanor. He's a very confident player, and he does a great job playing in man coverage. He can play zone, but his strength is getting his arms on WRs in bump-and-run and disrupting routes.”

Sherman, in his third season out of Stanford, is unusually tall and lanky for a cornerback at 6-3, 195 pounds. He went to Stanford as a wide receiver, but moved to cornerback his junior year.

His statistics alone make a valid argument for listing him as the No. 1 corner in the league. Since entering the NFL in 2011, Sherman has 16 interceptions and 49 passes defensed, both of which lead the league over the last three seasons.

Among active players, he ranks second for most interceptions in his first 42 games. Ed Reed is first with 18 picks in his first 42 games. Only 36 of Sherman’s first 42 games were starts.

Sherman has four interceptions this season and leads the Seahawks with eight passes defensed, even though opposing quarterbacks often avoid throwing to his side.

Sherman had another strong game Sunday at Atlanta, holding down a player he doesn’t like -- Falcons receiver Roddy White.

White, coming back from a hamstring injury, had only one catch in four targeted throws. White and Sherman have a history of critical comments about each other, including this one from Sherman last week when asked about the challenge of facing White: “What challenge?” Sherman said smiling.

White was so frustrated Sunday that he threw a punch at Sherman during the game, which was captured in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution photo Monday.

But Sherman has the utmost respect for Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, exchanging jerseys with Gonzalez after the game.