RENTON No regrets.
“Nothing at all.”
That’s what Richard Sherman said Wednesday, when I asked him if he would now do anything differently three days after the three-time All-Pro cornerback screamed at his defensive coordinator, his teammates and anyone else that crossed his path on the Seahawks’ sidelines after a blown coverage and Atlanta Falcons touchdown.
“No,” Sherman said.
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Any fallout around the locker room over his outburst?
“No. No,” Sherman said. “I mean, we are a ballclub. Things happen. We came out with the win, and we move on to the next week.”
Sherman was asked about any line between being “passionate,” the word he and teammate have used to describe his outburst, being a distraction for the team.
“I guess it depends on the team situation and who is doing it. I think a lot of people who have never played the game would never understand the difference,” Sherman said. “It would be difficult for me to explain it to people who have never played.”
Sherman also talked, at length, about Atlanta’s final play of Sunday’s 26-24 victory for the Seahawks, at the end of which Sherman got away with grabbing Falcons’ wide receiver Julio Jones before the ball arrived. It could have been a pass-interference foul on Sherman and Atlanta’s ball in Seattle territory with 90 seconds left.
Monday night, Sherman posted an image on his Twitter account that showed Jones slapping Sherman’s helmet immediately after the snap, just past the line of scrimmage. If detected by officials that would have been a foul on the Falcons receiver for hands to the face of an opponent. Sherman typed “hear a lot of nonsense about the last play” with the last-play picture tweet.
Not long after he posted that Monday night Sherman deleted the tweet.
Wednesday, he jabbed the league over that final play.
“It’s just how people see things,” Sherman said Wednesday. “Even the NFL played a video, and didn’t show the front of the play...”
In fact, the league’s official video from the Falcons-Seahawks game for cable television’s “Inside the NFL” weekly show splices in league footage of Jones running free off the line in the sun -- and it was only sunny on Sunday at CenturyLink Field for a brief spell well earlier in the game than Atlanta’s final drive.
“That’s just how this league is about defensive players, you know,” Sherman said, picking up on his railing against the league from his previous midweek press conference last Wednesday.
Asked if he believed the omission of Jones’ head-slap at the start of the Falcons’ final offensive play Sunday was intentional, Sherman didn’t take a breath before answering.
“One-hundred percent intentional,” he said. “That’s just how the league is. It’s an offensive league. They don’t want to help the defense, in the least.”
Sherman stumbled from Jones’ slap, then recovered and raced step for step with Jones on a deep post route. It was fourth and 10 for Atlanta in the final 2 minutes, with the Seahawks leading 26-24. Matt Ryan’s long pass arched toward Jones and Sherman at midfield. What everyone except the presiding officials on the play saw what Sherman grab Jones’ right arm and pull the receiver’s right side away from the ball before it arrived. There has been a national debate over that not being called pass interference.
Sherman on Wednesday talked more about the front end of the play few if anyone noticed at the time.
“It’s difficult to recover when you almost fall at the beginning of the play, you get pushed in the face,” Sherman said. “If I pushed a receiver in the face I guarantee you it would be the highlight of every SportsCenter, every everything, if that was the fourth quarter, the last play and I pushed him in the face.
“But,” Sherman said with a shrug, “it is what it is.
“That’s the league you play in. Fourth and 10 for the game, you know, they can just throw one up and hope for a flag. And then you deal with that at the end.
“But...we won the game.”
But Sherman wasn’t done on what is becoming a weekly jab or three at the NFL.
Not surprisingly, being he is a defensive back, Sherman wants pass-interference fouls in the league to be as they are in college. That is, 15 yards against the offending team, be it on offense or defense -- and not the spot-of-the-foul penalty it is in the NFL.
“An offensive player can stop a turnover and it’s a 10-yard penalty and they might still get the first down,” Sherman said of the NFL. “A defensive player, they can say, ‘Oh, he was about to stop a touchdown,’ so they give him a spot foul. That’s the difference.”
Does he think the league will ever make such a change?
“No, it’s not going to change,” Sherman said, “because it’s not affecting the offense. It’s not affecting points being scored. They don’t care if the defense is not getting calls.”
Sherman said he does not believe pass interference should be a call added to the league’s list of plays that can be reviewed by video replay.
“No, because everything in slow motion looks -- if you watched every offensive snap of the line play in slow motion, it would look like a hold of some sort or hands to the face,” he said. “You know, it’s just football. If you replay everything then it’s going to be on every play, every play on the line, every play on the secondary. You can call a penalty anytime on both sides of the ball.”