Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said his team received another apology from the NFL concerning officiating, and he used the opportunity to rant against a rulebook he believes is taking away from the game's entertainment value.
Gregg Bell of the News Tribune passed along comments on Thursday from the three-time Pro Bowler, who joked about the latest call from the NFL league offices.
"We must lead the league in apologies," Sherman said.
Seattle came away from Sunday's 25-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints thinking it got a raw deal from the officiating crew. Both Sherman and head coach Pete Carroll spoke out after the Seahawks received 11 penalties, compared to two for the Saints, per Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com.
The 28-year-old Stanford product didn't place all of the blame on the on-field officials, though. Liz Mathews of 710 ESPN Seattle noted the defensive back thinks the rules have become so complex that it's difficult for the crew to handle it all.
"You have a bunch of rocket scientists writing rules for a simple game," Sherman said.
He expressed interest in a simplified approach to the rules, pinpointing illegal contact, a call often made against cornerbacks, as "a ridiculous rule," according to Bell.
Sherman also opined on the rules against celebrating big plays. While there have been numerous theories about why NFL ratings have faded this season, the defender provided a blunt assessment, per Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times.
"The league isn't fun anymore," he said.
Former NFL wide receiver Chad Johnson expressed a similar outlook on Fox Sports 1's Undisputed last week:
Furthermore, Sherman downplayed the idea that rule changes over the years have been designed to improve player safety, calling that merely the "public perception," per Mathews.
Next up for the Seahawks is a clash with the reeling Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football, and the outspoken corner has an opinion as to why his team has played better in prime-time situations, as Stephen Cohen of SeattlePI.com relayed.
"Maybe they don't want the refs controlling those games," Sherman said.
Ultimately, the NFL could fine Sherman for publicly criticizing the league's officiating, but it's hard to argue against many of his points. A league with direct, understandable rules that allow players to show more positive emotion after big plays would likely create a more entertaining product.