Richard Sherman: Seahawks' leaps legal; Cardinals should take a look at their cadence

BySheil Kapadia ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

RENTON, Wash. --Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman fired back at Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians on Wednesday, shooting down Arians' contention that leaping over the line to block field goals is bad for football.

"It's bad for his team," Sherman said. "If he means bad for his team is bad for football, then I can see that. But they have a predictable cadence, and it'll happen to them again if they keep doing it the same way."

In the second quarter of Sunday night's game, Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner leaped over the line of scrimmage and blocked Chandler Catanzaro's field goal attempt. Wagner also leaped over the line on Catanzaro's attempt in overtime. The game ended in a 6-6 tie.

Arians told SiriusXM NFL Radio that long-snappers will now have to raise their heads up and risk getting hit in the face. Sherman was asked if Arians had a point.

"No, no, that sounds foolhardy," Sherman said. "By the time he snaps the ball, they're over him. If you watch that play, by the time the ball is through his legs and he would have time to look up, Bobby's in the backfield. So that rhetoric is denied."

Later Wednesday, Arians said, "I don't give a s--- about it anymore. It's in the past."

As for the legality of the play, NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino explained in an interview with NFL Network why Wagner's leap Sunday night wasn't penalized.

"There's contact, and then there's incidental contact," Blandino said. "He can run up and jump, but he can't land on players. Now if he brushes a player or brushes a teammate with incidental contact, that would be legal.

"So he's gonna run, jump and clear the line, block the kick. You look at the TV copy replay, and you can see that there is some contact. His foot is going to brush the back of the snapper, but that is not significant contact. It's incidental. He didn't land on players. So that's what made it legal."

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said the call was cut and dry.

"It's not an illegal play," he said. "It's not. We talked to the guys and it's not. [Arians] has his opinion on how he'd like that to go, but it's not an illegal play."

Added Sherman, "It was a legal play. And every year there's something else they're trying to get against the defense. Now you're saying we can't jump over your snapper because you made your cadence so predictable, you made your snapper keep his head down, and now you want to change the rule again because you got your kick blocked. That's unfortunate."

On Wednesday afternoon, Arians said he's going to use his vote on the competition committee to vote for making leaping the center illegal.

"I don't think I need to [push the committee]," Arians said. "It's already been pushed. I'll definitely vote for it in my vote."

Information from ESPN Cardinals reporter Josh Weinfuss was used in this report.

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