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Darrelle Revis - Richard Sherman Feud: What Do Interceptions Mean for Young Elite Cornerbacks?

Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman engaged in a Twitter spat Wednesday, with Revis telling Sherman to “sit down, young pup.” Sherman then fired back by comparing interception totals:

He went there. Scoreboard, right? I mean, Darrelle Revis was selected 1st team all-pro when he had zero interceptions in 2010. Sherman had eight last season. So do interceptions prove that one type of elite cornerback is better?

Well, probably, but not in the way Sherman intended.

Here is every corner who was selected all-pro in the NFL by age 25, sorted by the number of interceptions in their All-Pro year. A summary of the careers of those who are retired from age 26 and beyond:

  • 8 or more interceptions as All-Pro: 6.3 years starting, 2.6 pro bowls, 0.3 All Pros
  • 4 to 7 interceptions as All-Pro: 6.6 years starting, 2.7 pro bowls, 1.3 All Pros
  • 3 or fewer interceptions as All-Pro: 7.7 years starting, 3.6 pro bowls, 2.0 All Pros

The corners to make an All-Pro at a young age with low interception totals: Charles Woodson, Mark Haynes, Rod Woodson, Louis Wright, Deion Sanders, and LeRoy Irvin.

The high interception All-Pros: Lester Hayes, Pat Fischer, Monte Jackson, Ty Law, Barry Wilburn, Eric Allen, and Lem Barney.

Which group would you take?

Interceptions are a pretty poor way to judge cornerbacks. It has a lot to do with opportunities, and sometimes indicate a cornerback that gets thrown at a lot. Richard Sherman will probably find that teams are less willing to throw on him if he continues to play at a high level. If you are an All-Pro while getting few of them, it is probably a better sign for the future.

 

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