Unless we thought otherwise, Richard Sherman is not a person who will let something pass by without offering his opinion.
The outspoken Seattle Seahawks corner back spoke about two specific rule changes the NFL is pondering, and he followed that up with direct criticism of the man behind those talks, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
When addressing the NFL’s proposal of ejecting players who were called for two personal fouls during a game, Sherman claimed Goodell does not possess an understanding about how players are called for personal fouls because he never played in the league.
“I think it’s foolish,” Sherman said to ESPN’s Jim Trotter. “But it sounds like something somebody who’s never played the game would say, something that they would suggest, because he doesn’t understand. He’s just a face. He’s just a suit. He’s never stepped foot on the field and understood how you can get a personal foul.”
That rule was approved on Wednesday. For the 2016 season only, players will be subject to automatic ejection for committing two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game. The change will be used as a one-year experiment, similar to last season’s experiment with moving extra-point attempts back to the 15-yard line. That was made permanent during this week’s meeting.
Sherman also attacked the league’s handling of what constitutes a catch. He says the definition of a catch won’t ever improve unless the NFL hires former or current players to sit down and define what it is. Once again, he pointed to the “suits” who are in charge of these rule changes.
“Because you’ve got a bunch of suits doing it,” Sherman said. “Like I said before, you don’t have a bunch of guys … let Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin talk about it for about 20, 30 minutes. Maybe Cris Carter. Randy Moss, let those guys have a roundtable discussion about what a catch should be and come up with a rule.
“Those are some of the best pass-catchers we’ve had. I think it’d be more straightforward and to the point. You’ve got a bunch of guys who have never played. They’ve probably touched a football to hold it out or to shake somebody’s hand, to take a picture, but they’ve never played the game.”
The catch rule has been highly-debated for the last few years after several controversial plays, some potentially costing teams points or even wins. During a now-infamous playoff game in 2014 between the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, Dallas receiver Dez Bryant had a potential go-ahead touchdown erased after officials determined that he did not fully control the ball after initially losing possession as he hit the ground.
Bill Polian, a member of the catch-rule committee, said that the rule won’t be overturned anytime soon because of how it could negatively affect player safety, specifically defenseless players.
“Any change you would make to catch-no catch would have a deleterious effect on defenseless player [rules],” Polian told the Washington Post in February. “That’s off the table. For five or 10 controversial plays a year, you’re not going to put players’ safety at risk.”