The NFL has put more of an emphasis on stopping illegal contact and defensive holding this season in order to stamp out teams that have become overly reliant on these tactics to stop offenses in the league. The rules have always existed about defensive holding and illegal contact, but the officials have called flags sparingly due to desire not to want to slow the game down.
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll sees the new emphasis on stamping out defensive holding and illegal contact as a sign of “respect,” according to Profootballtalk. The Seahawks are a team that the rule
“We’re not fighting or resisting the changes that are here,” Carroll said to the Seattle Times. “We’re trying to adapt and go with it.”
Carroll is taking a good stance in not showing any resistance to the new emphasis on keeping team from cheating on defense. But he’s got a lot of work to do to try and get the Seahawks defense to adapt to the rule enforcement because many NFL fans believed the Seahawks gamed the system last season by holding constantly and bumping receivers on pass plays.
The idea was that the officials wouldn’t call penalties on every play because it would slow the game down to the point where it was virtually unwatchable. It actually paid off for teams to cheat knowing that they’d only get called occasionally for the infractions. But if the officials are going to call the penalties whenever they see them, they’re going to cause teams like the Seahawks to either adapt for else find themselves giving up touchdown after touchdowns fueled in part by the numerous defensive penalties called on them.
It’s going to be really tough on Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who went from being just a good player in college at Stanford, to becoming a superstar recently. Sherman was known to hold a lot on pass plays. Without holding, we could see Sherman look a lot more average, and it’s going to be interesting to see if he’s able to play at the same level without the holding. If not, then the Seahawks are going to be stuck with the huge contract they just gave him.