The San Francisco 49ers come off a season where the defense ranked a very respectable 11th against the pass, allowing 233.2 yards per game.
That's the good, but there is a bad aspect to the ranking when considering the Niners allowed the second-most touchdowns through the air with 35 while totaling a league-low two interceptions on the season.
"I'm 100 percent good with (the secondary). I don't think it'll be an issue," Sherman said, via Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee. "The secondary wasn't the issue last year. We'd lose games by a touchdown down the stretch, the last second. It's not like, 'Oh man, the secondary was just getting killed the whole game and that's why we lost.' It was just guys' immaturity, mistakes, just not executing. Not knowing how to finish, not having finishers."
Injuries also took a toll on the Niners' pass defense, as Jimmie Ward, who can play cornerback and safety, landed on injured reserve after suffering a broken arm and safety Adrian Colbert suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Additionally, Sherman returned to action less than a year after suffering an Achilles injury while with the Seattle Seahawks.
But the Niners also took major steps to take care of what is traditionally a secondary's best friend -- the pass rush.
San Francisco totaled 37 sacks in 2018 to rank 22nd in the league. The team, however, upgraded the front line with the trade for outside linebacker Dee Ford, who totaled 13 sacks last year with the Kansas City Chiefs, and used the second overall pick on the 2019 draft on defensive end Nick Bosa, who finished his collegiate career with 17.5 sacks. The Niners also signed linebacker Kwon Alexander during free agency.
Sherman certainly approved of the additions.
"We needed guys to hit (the quarterback) in the face," Sherman said. "You need a few of them. Now we have guys that can rotate in and rotate out and put pressure. You have linebackers that they were looking for. Fred (Warner) is a year older, he's not a rookie play caller anymore. I think that helps everybody. I'm much healthier. I was kind of out there on one leg."
Whether the defense improves in 2019 remains to be seen, but there's certainly reason for optimism given the additions to the pass rush and a relatively intact defensive backfield.
Sherman also pointed to another reason on the offensive side of the football that should help take pressure off the defense.
"Jimmy (Garoppolo)," Sherman said. "Jimmy will be out there."