Richard Sherman hits Marcus Mariota out of bounds, says ‘world is getting a lot softer’
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman helped awaken the Titans’ offense when he drilled quarterback Marcus Mariota late and out of bounds with about nine minutes remaining in the second quarter of what turned into Tennessee’s 33-27 victory Sunday at Nissan Stadium.
“He’s our quarterback,” Titans running back DeMarco Murray said. “He’s our leader of this team, and we don’t want anyone taking cheap shots at him. So I think that definitely fueled us up a little bit.”
Titans coach Mike Mularkey and quarterback Marcus Mariota break down their 33-27 win over the Seattle Seahawks at Nissan Stadium.
Several Titans rushed to Mariota’s aid, including right tackle Jack Conklin and left guard Quinton Spain, as a scuffle broke out along the Tennessee sideline.
Sherman was called for unnecessary roughness, his second personal foul of the game. But penalties offset on the play, and he was not ejected.
“Totally unnecessary. The outcome of what happened was to have two penalties nullify each other,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Monday. “Basically, he got a clean shot on our quarterback and there was no penalty. There was no negative ramifications for their team with that hit he put on our quarterback, which, we may bring that up to the competition committee about a rule change, because you can’t do that and then have no ramifications against your team.”
Mularkey addressed the penalties against his players after the game.
“I asked (the officials) how they thought we should react when they do something like that,” he said. “Do they think we’re going to take that? There’s no way we’re going to take that. We’ll never take that. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t retaliate when somebody does that.”
The Titans, who kicked a field goal to take a 3-0 lead on the drive preceding Sherman’s hit on Mariota, responded by scoring on six of the next seven possessions.
Sherman, whose left foot was already out of bounds when he launched himself into Mariota at the end of a four-yard scramble to the Seattle 36-yard line, defended his actions after the game.
“He was still in bounds so I play until the blow of the whistle,” Sherman said. “If the quarterback slides or kind of gives himself up or does something like that, then you stop. But if there’s still yards that he’s gaining, you’re taught to play to the whistle.
“It’s so crazy the way the game is nowadays. (Mariota) came up to me and said ‘good hit’ because he understood that I’m playing till the blow of the whistle. I’m not waiting until you took two steps out of bounds. It’s a game of inches and you can’t give up anything, and it’s just one of those plays. It’s football. It seems like the world is getting a lot softer in terms of the way it’s officiated and the way it’s seen, but it’s football and the end of the day.”
Sherman was called for three penalties on one play earlier in the game. Two were accepted, including holding and unsportsmanlike conduct.
Mariota said the late hit was “part of the game,” but appreciated his teammates rushing to his defense.
“Very humbled,” Mariota said. “That’s all I really strive to be, is the best teammate that I can be. I appreciate the fort of the guys. That means a lot.”
As for whether Sherman apologized to him after the game?