Jack Ham knows a thing or two about defense. After all, he played on one of the greatest NFL defenses of all time.
Ham is in the Hall of Fame, as are many of his teammates on the great Steelers defenses of the '70s, including Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount. He realizes the impact good corners can make.
"A talented cornerback allows you to do many things," Ham said.
Ham considers Seahawks CB Richard Sherman the league's best, as he told Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Sherman is as aggressive a cornerback as I've seen in a long time," Ham said. "The interception he had in the end zone [against Green Bay], it looked like he was running the route instead of defending it. He sees the ball. He makes good adjustments. He's got good hands and he doesn't drop balls."
Ham also questions why offenses seem set on testing the Seattle All-Pro.
"I have to laugh when I hear people say you should challenge Sherman," Ham said. "I couldn't disagree more. When you're a quarterback and their guy is better than your guy, you go somewhere else. Go after the second- or third-best cornerback. If you go at [Sherman], he's going to beat you."
And Sherman has beaten opposing quarterbacks. His 26 interceptions since 2011 are the most in the league, and he he has made first-team all-Pro for three consecutive seasons. Sherman's ability to lock down half of the field allowed the Seahawks to finished the year as the NFL's top defense for passing yardage, points and total yardage allowed.
Blount, like Sherman, was an interception machine, dominant in coverage and a big, physical defender who could bully larger receivers. Although Blount lacked Sherman's "vocal nature," the two players are similar, even though Sherman will have to play longer to match the career of the four-time Super Bowl champion.