Seattle Seahawks CB Richard Sherman recently sat down with NBC’s Josh Elliott for an interview that aired during halftime of the Bengals-Cardinals game on Sunday Night Football.
He was asked if he thought the recent emphasis on calling more penalties in the secondary—specifically illegal contact and holding by defensive backs—was aimed at the team’s Legion of Boom.
Sherman quickly shut down that theory with a definitive “no.” But he did offer his take on what he thought was the driving force behind the increase in penalties.
“When the fantasy football numbers need to be what they need to be, then the league needs to do what it needs to do to get it done. This is a money-driven league, so whatever sells the tickets is gonna sell the tickets.”
Whatever the reason is, the numbers clearly show there have been more penalties called on defensive players in recent weeks. As of last Friday morning—before the majority of Week 3’s games had taken place—there had been an average of 10.6 defensive penalties called per game during the 2014 preseason thus far (a significant increase from last season’s 5.6).
Sherman’s statement certainly won’t go over well in the league office. And he probably won’t get too many favorable calls go his way in games during the regular season, either. But we can’t fault the Seahawks CB for speaking his mind and going public about a hot issue that has had both players and media alike buzzing.