Richard Sherman: League has made it “impossible” for defenders

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The NFL is on a record pace for offense, with 3,030 points scored through four weeks, and four quarterbacks are on pace to break Peyton Manning’s single-season passing yards record (5,477 in 2013).

49ers cornerback Richard Sherman knows why.

“This is what the league wanted,” Sherman said, via Nick Wagoner of ESPN. “They want record passing numbers. You’ve got an average quarterback; the average quarterback’s passer rating is like 92 and that used to be Hall of Fame numbers, and now it’s not Hall of Fame numbers. That’s the average quarterback.

“You can’t touch him. You can’t tackle him. You can’t hit him high, can’t hit him low. You can’t knock him down to the ground hard . . . all that. You can’t hit a receiver too high; you can’t hit him low; you can’t push him. You can barely press him. It’s making it really difficult on teams to combat it because every rule in the book is designed to make sure you don’t get them stopped.”

Who would want to play defense in the NFL?

The rules are tilted so far in favor of the offenses that defenses have no chance.

“They’re just trying to make it impossible for guys to play defense,” Sherman said. “It’s an interesting league we play in.”

67 responses to “Richard Sherman: League has made it “impossible” for defenders

  1. I don’t particularly care for Sherman’s outspokenness, but on this particular issue he’s right.
    Guys are throwing for over 400 yards and losing. That would have been unheard of even five years ago.

  2. People are going to look at who is saying this and not the content of what he is saying. Richard Sherman is dead on. Everything he said is true. When you have guys getting flagged for form tackling a quarterback, something is really wrong.

  3. Actually the league has made it impossible for pretty much everyone except QB’s and, certain WR’s, and the Zebras.

  4. He’s right. Take Mahomes for instance. He is a GOOD quarterback in a very QB friendly offense…but the changes to rules on defense is allowing him to run around at will because no wants to hit him and defenders are giving his receivers tons of room to operate.

  5. You may not like him but, he’s 100% correct. The competition committee wants points.

    I like the 43-38 shootouts. I also enjoy a great defensive game as well.

  6. That’s why he had to take PEDs, and he and his former team lie profusely and persistently about his injury status, to even things up a little. Dude’s all about football being fair for defenses.

  7. The aging big mouth is right.

    The quarterback is a protected endangered species.
    In 15 years… children won’t know the difference between a quarterback and a pay phone.

  8. If Richard thinks that not being able to pop a q.b in the mouth makes an average q.b great then he should be signing up for XFL or NFL blitz

  9. NFL was unhappy with the scoring D so they called for more pass interference and holding cars. There are flags on every other play extending drives. Add in roughing the passer now the game is slanted way too far to the offense.

  10. For any stooge that thinks sherman is wrong pop a tape in of the 76 steelers/raiders or Cowboys/redskins games. Real football played by rreal men. Not what youre seeing tonight

  11. People are going to blame the rules, and they are right. But I blame the league for do NOTHING for decades denying the existence of CTE or the hazards of the game. They were making too much money to change the game. Now facing all the lawsuits they have over corrected. Had they acknowledged this in the 80s and 90s then the rule over correction that is going on today would not exist. In all likelihood they would have lost some money in settlements years ago and implemented some more much more moderate rules. End of the day I think their greed and lack of conscience in years past is to blame not only for players long term damage but also in todays rules and fans dissatisfaction. The NFL is becoming the NBA because of their greed and past denial.

  12. It. actually needs to happen. There is a shot clock in basketball for a reason. This year there are not that many stories about the NFL losing ratings because the games are exciting and teams are scoring. Take a look at baseball, how many kids can recognize one player in the street let let alone 5. Why? Because it’s slow and boring. It’s a sad fact about the young generation but the scoring is necessary.

  13. I agree. What we have now is “Basketball on Grass.” Throw the lob pass from QB to receiver. Any contact with the QB or the receiver is a penalty of some sort. The only differences left between the NBA and NFL is that the NBA has charging when an offensive player runs over a defender. The NFL owners support runningbacks and receivers leading with the helmet. But if the defender leads with the helmet on a tackle, that’s a penalty. Sad, Very sad.

  14. I remember when they could mug a receiver before the ball was thrown and it was ok. Once the ball was thrown was the penalty, bring that back. #bringbrackdefense

  15. That 5 yard automatic first down defensive holding penalty is the crappiest penalty in the game…talk about game changer…they call that even if it’s a hold on the opposite side of the field and the qb didn’t even look that way.

  16. Sherman’s right, but we want more and more scoring. A few years ago Sherman would literally hug a receiver all the way down the field and not get called. Nowadays a DB has to really have skills. More scoring equals more revenue for the NFL, and they’re setting new revenue records every year. I can’t complain. I just want to caution people against comparing stats from other era’s with those of today. Dan Fouts would have thrown for 6,000 yards and 65 TD’s back when he had Jefferson, Winslow, Joiner, Wes Chandler, Muncie, and James Brooks. Len Dawson would have thrown for 50 TDs every year. A WR like Lance Alworth would have 25 TDs every year. We complain about everything but the league is doing it for us. We’re the ones spending all the money, and we’re getting what we’re asking for. Just look in the mirror if you have any complaints.

  17. There IS a maddeningly simple and obvious solution to all the NFL officiating issues.
    Let these accomplished, competent men do what SHOULD be their bleeping JOB: To intervene only when necessary to prevent an unfair advantage or a dangerous play. Just that simple. You hired these lawyers, administrators and executives because of their proven excellence at making decisions under pressure! Charge these men with that task, give them a small, full-time well-paid crew to assist them with the further assistance of a central video review team using all modern technology available, and LET THEM DO THEIR JOB!
    What used to be judged by the ref as unsportsmanlike or unnecessary is now parsed into illegal here and contact below there; and nowhere is the referee, this lawyer or administrator allowed to use the experience and judgement under stress for which he was hired. Instead, they are required to parse every bodily movement into a set of arbitrary rigid specifications and delineate them like it’s a corporate ethics case before the supreme court.
    Let the referees be referees, not robots. They know when it’s a cheap shot and when it’s not. Give them the power to immediately eject for clear targeting. Give them the power to let incidental contact by a cornerback go if it doesn’t actually affect the play. Give them the power to look at replay if necessary to confirm their judgement, WHENEVER they feel the need to look at replay to confirm their judgement.
    Give them the power to be a referee, not an automaton. It’s that simple.

  18. That 5 yard automatic first down defensive holding penalty is the crappiest penalty in the game…talk about game changer…they call that even if it’s a hold on the opposite side of the field and the qb didn’t even look that way.

    What’s worse is it seems like 90% of that call happens on 3rd and long where the defense just made a play to get off the field. Demoralizing to say the least. Then the defense starts to get winded and boom…TD.

    I hate that call so much. It changes the game.

  19. The Truth says:
    October 4, 2018 at 9:04 pm
    For any stooge that thinks sherman is wrong pop a tape in of the 76 steelers/raiders or Cowboys/redskins games. Real football played by rreal men. Not what youre seeing tonight


    I don’t think Richard is wrong but I don’t think he has it right. The enforcement of the rules has changed. Scoring is way up. I don’t think it’s great for the game but it doesn’t making playing defense ‘impossible’ it just makes harder than it used to be. Every defense in the league has to play by the same rules. Blaming the rules or the officials is a losers excuse.

  20. Its not just the QBs. Even on basic tackles defenders have to be concerned about leading with their shoulders when engaging a ball carrier you can no longer get the ball carrier down by any means.

  21. For once I agree with Richard Sherman 100%. I actually heard a young radio host on the Mad Dog radio program defending the NFL on all these rules changes and he actually said the games are better to watch today than ever before!! I am not into generalizing about any generation, but this guy sounded like the stereotypical millennial. He was absolutely clueless! He probably started watching the NFL 2 years ago!

  22. I watched NFL FILMS constantly and saw all those old timers. Loved seeing Butkus, Alzado, Czonka, Hannah, Gastineau, Ronnie Lott, and all those heavy hitting head smashers. Today’s game is definitely different, but I can’t say it’s worse. Because it’s fun to watch a shootout.
    Additionally, parents disallow their kids from football due to CTE, and when no more kids play football, eventually no more adults play football, and eventually no more NFL. The league knows this and is acting accordingly.

  23. It doesn’t take any courage to cream someone that isn’t even focused on you. So the rules pendulum is swinging the other way. Use that Stanford education to figure out how to adapt instead of what you usually do which is lead the league in whining. Which in this league is saying something.

  24. The NFL is trying to appeal to the casual fan and fantasy football addicts. The game needs balance. Offense AND defense.

  25. I thought it was pretty funny comment in that movie where it was said “..I bet you I can throw this football over those mountains”… todays a NFL QB has ALL the time in the world to at least attempt it!

  26. I may not like Sherman, but it’s true.

    Back when Montana put up his career average of 92, the average was 77. Montana, through his career, was (on average) about 26% better (by QB rating) than the average of the NFL.

    Now you have Brady who has this astronomical QB rating. A rating propped up by the ‘make it easy NFL.’ For his career Brady has only been 17% better than average. Yet he has the 3rd highest QB rating in history. Despite not showing overwhelm excellence above his peers, many of them fellow HOFers, Montana demonstrated.

    And don’t even get me started on mediocrities like Matt Schaub and Andy Dalton, both of whom sport QB ratings better than many HOFers like Dan Marino and Brett Farve.

  27. what did you think would happen when you sued the league?

    not a smart statement from a guy who wants to represent the players union

  28. Right on ! This is NOT your old school football and has become a Bore! NFL overreaction to CTE concerns now run rampant in rule changes and the game today is just not interesting without the defense that was so apparent in the past. I watch 1/10 of the NFL football I did just two years ago and will not support this travesty.I am old school and a fan since 1956.I enjoyed the old style defense that has been completely taken away from the game. Perhaps the younger crowd likes this run and gun, offensive only NFL game of today…but I will pass on same ! db

  29. I rarely agree with Richard Sherman but I could not agree with him more on this. What ever happened to defense and breaking hearts?
    Make Football Violent Again or at least stop changing every rule to favor offense!

  30. The rules are completely changing the outcomes of games. PI is too easy to get these days downfield. And even uncatchable balls give a 5 yard, automatic first down.

    Look at OT in the Eagles game. Bologna PI on 4th and 15, that was completely uncatchable. Gives the Titans an automatic first. Game should have been over, but it changed the outcome of the game completely.

  31. He’s 100% correct…this game is over-officiated. Every kick-off or punt return…every long or intermediate paass, every jam under 5 yards…is a penalty. Enough!

    Don’t kill the game, keep it competitive!

  32. Words that I NEVER thought I would say…I used to get so excited for every week, no matter how my hometown team is doing…last week since the Vikings didn’t play Sunday, I worked in my yard and garage and didn’t miss watching the games on TV at all..this week the Vikings have an NFCCG rematch and honestly, I couldn’t care less…my dad is probably rolling in his grave as I write this..thank you NFL for changing your product and freeing up hundreds of hours in the fall and winter for me to do other things

  33. Sherman is dead-on with his comments. I can remember not too long ago when throwing for 300 yards in a game was a big deal. Now, if you don’t throw for 300 and 3 TD’s in a game, it’s a below average game. The offensive stats are so inflated now; they’re almost all video game numbers. It’s to the point where it’s too easy for offense; like glorified 7 on 7 games. There is nothing wrong with a hard-fought 14-10 game where every yard and first down matters and where no team wants to give any ground.

  34. Sherman is right…but this is the US, every pro sport is business first, corruption second, maybe vice/versa…and they are blatantly ruining the game, why? $$$, and because they know we are sheep, we’ll continue to pay.

    it’s like the NBA, almost every player travels, 3,4 even 5 steps to the hoop is normal, why? scoring. and they’re not calling a lot of fouls they used to. fans want to see large scores, not defensive games(same w/NFL). The NBA is starting to look like their all-star game, coincidence?

  35. There’s still physical contact in hockey and the integrity in the officiating, and outcomes of games is night and day from the NFL. WWE is less scripted the NFL outcomes these days. It takes an incredibly stupid audience not to see that. Which is why I’m signing off with the NFL for good, it’s NHL season now.

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