Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman doesn’t believe the Seahawks team will be negatively affected by the new rule by the NFL for calling flags on defensive holding and contact on pass plays. The Seahawks were known to be a team that some felt that had gamed the system by holding on almost every pass play knowing that the officials couldn’t call penalties on every play.
The NFL officials are putting more focus on calling defensive holding this season, and some fans are already seeing this as a way for the league to bring the Seahawks down a level.
“It will have very minimal impact on our game and how we play it,” Sherman said to the media on Monday
Sherman may be kidding himself because it appears that the NFL is deadly serious about wanting to stop the holding by defensive players like Sherman.
The holding has led to games that have been dull to watch because of the low scoring, and in addition it’s arguably led to quarterback injuries due to them having to hold onto the ball longer to try and find receivers who aren’t being held. If you look at some of the Seahawks games last season, there were many games were the Seahawks defenders had all the receivers blanked with help by a hold here and there to limit their ability to run pass patterns.
You can bet that the Seahawks will still test the rule to the extreme in games to see if they can find a way around it with the holding. But if the NFL is serious about this, Sherman is going to need to find a different way to cover wide receivers. It’s not easy for a cornerback as big as the 6’2” Sherman to keep up with shorter, speedy receivers without grabbing a fist full of jersey. He was drafted in the 5th round by the Seahawks in 2011 out of Stanford, because he wasn’t a great cornerback.
It’s quite possible that without the ability to hold, Sherman – and the rest of the Seahawks defensive secondary – are going to be average players in 2014. In that case, they’re going to need to depend more on their defensive line shutting down running backs and getting to the quarterbacks so that they don’t get riddled to pieces on pass plays.
You can expect Sherman and the other Seahawks defensive backs to attempt to jam receivers at the line of scrimmage this season on every play to keep them from being able to run routes. It’s going to be interesting to see if they’re going to be able to make up the difference with this strategy for what they’ll be losing with them no being able to hold.