Richard Sherman And Michael Bennett Weigh In On The Many Officiating Problems This Season

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Even though the Seattle Seahawks have been the beneficiary of a few major calls that have gone their way, they seem to still have beef with the way that NFL referees have performed their duties this season.

Both Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman and defensive end Michael Bennett have given their thoughts on the state of officiating, and neither appear to be a fan.

Sherman penned an essay for the Monday Morning Quarterback on Friday, in which he described four different ways that the NFL could improve their officiating.

Sherman believes that the first step is simplifying the rules of the game to make it easier on referees.

A certain amount of human error is acceptable. The first thing the league needs to do to improve officiating is narrow the margin for error by simplifying the rulebook, especially on the defensive side of the ball. There’s a great deal of redundancy in our rules that officials end up debating on the field, and these conferences disrupt the flow of the game.

From there, Sherman believes in adding an eighth official who is paid full-time, allowing for a change in how referees on the field are positioned, which would help them be able to see plays such as pass interference calls more clearly.

The final step in Sherman’s plan is to improve how players and officials communicate with one another.

My only complaint about the actual job the officials are doing is the occasional lack of explanation for questionable calls. When they can’t or won’t explain themselves, it becomes difficult to play because you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.

I get why some don’t talk. When coaches are screaming at them on a consistent basis, the human element kicks in and guys can shut down. But if you talk to them with respect, they talk to you with respect, and most of the officials will calmly explain a penalty. Yet for some reason, those aren’t the guys you see in the playoffs.

It’s hard to argue that Sherman’s ideas wouldn’t improve the way NFL games are called. Adding an eighth official may seem unnecessary, but considering the amount of terrible calls that have flooded the NFL this season, adding another on-field official and changing the positioning on potentially game-changing plays could end up making a big difference.

While Sherman seems to believe that, in the future, NFL referees can improve with just a few small changes, his teammate Michael Bennett seems to be far less optimistic.

Bennett recently did an interview with Sports Illustrated, and Complex Sports compiled many of his answers, including his thoughts on officials.

“Referees are terrible, always been terrible. One referee told me that 98 percent of the time they make the right call. I asked him, ‘Are you God?’ He’s like, ‘No.’ Then you don’t make the right call 98 percent of the time. You make the right call 50 percent of the time. At best.”

Something tells me the league may be just a little bit more open to listening to Sherman’s ideas on the matter than Bennett’s.

(Via Monday Morning Quarterback, Complex Sports)