If the Seahawks’ physical secondary is going to struggle with the NFL’s renewed emphasis on illegal contact, defensive holding and pass interference, we’ll see it tonight.
Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reports that tonight’s referee is John Parry. That’s significant because Parry’s crew called the most defensive holding and pass interference penalties of any officiating crew during the preseason. Parry’s crew also tied for the most defensive holding and pass interference calls of any officiating crew during the 2013 regular season.
So if there’s any officiating crew that’s going to force the Seahawks out of their physical — and successful — ways, it’s probably Parry’s crew.
However, the Seahawks’ secondary did just fine during the preseason, even with the increased emphasis on letting receivers run free. Actually, they did better than fine: As noted by Peter King of TheMMQB.com, the Seahwaks’ starting secondary played a total of 285 snaps during the preseason and got a grand total of zero penalties.
So maybe Parry will help Aaron Rodgers and the Packers put up big numbers tonight in Seattle. Or maybe Richard Sherman and Co. will show that they’re the best secondary in the league, no matter how strictly the NFL wants to call the game.