Seahawks' Richard Sherman: Refs don't even know rules half the time

RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman continued his criticism of NFL officiating Wednesday, pointing to confusion among referees during Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In the second quarter, tight end Luke Stocker was called for holding in the Bucs' end zone while quarterback Jameis Winston had the ball. The officials did not initially rule a safety, but after Pete Carroll challenged the call, the Seahawks were awarded two points.

"So many nuanced rules that the refs don't even know half the time, because most of the refs on that play didn't know we could challenge the play," Sherman said. "The only one who knew was the white hat. That's kind of ridiculous.

"You deal with that on a week-in, week-out basis. And they're like, 'Just call New York.' But what if you've got five games going on? Five games calling New York at the same time? It doesn't make sense. You can simplify that, but of course they won't, because like I've said before, you have people who've never played the game writing the rules for a game they've never played, and they have no idea how it works."

On the play Sherman described, Carroll was unsure about whether the holding/safety call was reviewable, even after having a conversation with the official on the sideline.

Sherman spoke with another official who said the play was reviewable and rushed over to convince Carroll to throw the red flag.

"I just asked him what could we do," Sherman said. "He said we could challenge it. He said you can't challenge a penalty but you can challenge a spot on the field that had happened. Once he said that, I just ran and made sure Pete knew, because I don't think Pete knew he could challenge it. Pete threw the flag."

The Seahawks lost the game 14-5.

Sherman criticized officials after a Week 8 loss to the New Orleans Saints. He later suggested that officials target the Seahawks specifically.

Sherman said that the players learn which crew they're getting early in the week, but studying past tendencies doesn't usually help.

"Everything is subjective," Sherman said. "So on any given day, maybe he had his coffee this morning, maybe he'll call this. Maybe he didn't have his coffee ... then maybe he'll call something else. It's human error out there. So at the end of the day, that's all you're playing with is human error. So it depends on what they think they saw and what they're feeling that day, things like that."