In an interview with ESPN, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had harsh words for the NFL commissioner and a proposal to have two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties result in ejection.
Among the rules changes the NFL will consider at its league meetings this week is a proposal that any player who gets flagged for two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties could be subject to ejection.
What does Seattle’s Richard Sherman think of that idea?
Well, let him tell you.
“I think it’s foolish,’’ Sherman said in an interview released by ESPN on Sunday. “But it sounds like something somebody who’s never played the game would say, something they would suggest, because he (NFL commissioner Roger Goodell) doesn’t understand, he’s just a face, he’s just a suit. He’s never set foot on the field and understood how you can get a personal foul.’’
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The proposal could be enacted when team NFL officials and team execs meet beginning Sunday in Boca Raton, Fla. Under that proposal, two players would have been ejected in 2015 (neither of them Seahawks). The NFL is trying to crack down on unsportsmanlike penalties after saying 75 were called in 2015, up from an average of 50 the previous five years.
The NFL is not expected to talk about changes to the controversial catch rule this week.
But Sherman was asked about that and had a ready answer for why he thinks the league is struggling to define exactly what a catch is.
“Because you’ve got a bunch of suits doing it,” Sherman said. “You’ve got a bunch of guys who never played.
“. … 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.
I guarantee you it would be more effective than the rule they have now.’’
Sherman was also asked about the retirement of Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch and how the team will replace him.
“There’s no replacing a guy like that,’’ Sherman said. “So you don’t even consider it a replacement. You consider it the next guy stepping in. You could consider replacing would almost seem disrespectful.’’
UPDATE — After this was initially posted, an NFL spokesman pointed out that the league this year did convene a committee to discuss the catch rule that included two of the names Sherman mentioned as well as former Seahawks receiver Steve Largent.
Here’s the full list of those who were on the catch committee: Former players Fred Biletnikoff, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Steve Largent, Chad Lewis, Randy Moss, Jordy Nelson, James Thrash and former general managers/coaches and officials Bill Polian, Ken Whisenhunt, Jim Schwartz and Joe Philbin, and former side judge Tom Finken.
The NFL also noted that the competition committee, which recommended the proposal on two personal fouls resulting in an ejection, includes several former players and current coaches. That committee consists of: Rich McKay (Chairman), Stephen Jones, Marvin Lewis, John Mara, Mark Murphy, Ozzie Newsome, Rick Smith and Mike Tomlin.