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Marsh Impacted Sherman's Rise In Seattle

Posted Dec 1, 2011

Seattle rookie cornerback Richard Sherman has become a fixture on the team's defense having started in five games this season. Sherman will try to slow down the Eagles passing attack which racked up 400 yards behind quarterback Vince Young last Sunday.

If it wasn't for Eagles rookie cornerback Curtis Marsh, the 6-3 Sherman might not be in the position he's in today.

Marsh was scheduled to play in the Senior Bowl in January. However, Marsh was sidelined with a hamstring injury. His replacement was Sherman. The two got to know each other during the draft process. In fact, the two California natives were on the same flight back from the Scouting Combine.

Marsh was the Eagles' third-round pick out of Utah State. Unlike Sherman, a fifth-round selection, Marsh got his first taste of action on defense against the Patriots. It was for two snaps when cornerback Brandon Hughes briefly exited the game with an ankle injury. Quarterback Tom Brady wasted no time going after the rookie.

"They threw at me on the first play, but it was incomplete," Marsh said.

Marsh had his receiver covered on the next play, but Brady found an open Wes Welker for a 9-yard score. The two plays whetted Marsh's appetite for more action.

"Getting those two plays, it felt good," Marsh said. "I was able to get in a little bit of a rhythm."

Marsh has now been active for the last two games, primarily playing on special teams where he earned praise from special teams coordinator Bobby April.

"Curtis is a tough, young scrapper. He’s fast, he has a lot of character, he’ll fight you, and he has enough talent to be real successful with those qualities, real successful," April said. "And I think you know it just hasn’t worked out where he’s gotten a lot of opportunity but that doesn’t mean that he won’t be a very outstanding player and I perceive he will be."

Marsh understands that he's fortunate to be able to learn as a rookie from the likes of three Pro Bowl corners in Nnamdi Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. But at the same time, Marsh is hungry to prove himself on the field.

"It's so tough because I'm a competitor. You want to play. I'm never going to be one of those guys who is just happy to be here," Marsh said. "It's really hard to just kind of sit back, but at the same time you have to be patient. You have to realize how blessed and thankful I should be to learn from these guys and be brought along slowly and not have to be thrown out there."

On Thursday night, Marsh is expected to play special teams while on the other sideline Sherman is starting for the Seahawks. Marsh will get his opportunity in time. And when he does, he believes the chance to sit back and learn will pay off.

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