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NFL Prepared to Flag Secondaries More in 2014?

It’s not necessarily a well-hidden secret that the Seattle Seahawks secondary, better known as The Legion of Boom, commits more holding and illegal contact penalties than any other unit in the entire National Football League.

In fact, getting away with said penalties has been somewhat of a rallying cry for the best secondary in the NFL.

Pro Football Talk’s Mik Florio paints this picture in a recent article.

In an intriguing segment that aired on NBCSN’s NFL Turning Point, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman was displaying to a teammate on the practice field techniques for concealing illegal contact.

It’s the idea that you’re not committing a penalty unless it’s called. Still, those who have faced the Seahawks over the past few seasons have been frustrated by the lack of defensive bolding and illegal contact penalties.

That may very well change in 2014. According to Mike Pereira, the former NFL V.P of officiating, the league will focus more on these types of penalties in 2014.

However, it must be noted that of the videos shown as examples at the NFL Officiating Clinic that Pereira attended over the weekend, none pointed to the Seahawks secondary.

The overall idea of focusing more on penalties in the defensive secondary is to create higher-scoring affairs throughout the league. While you and I may enjoy a hard-fought 6-3 Seahawks-49ers game, the average NFL fan doesn’t. In general, the higher scoring a game is, the more interesting it is to the masses.

In terms of how this might impact competitive balance in the NFL this upcoming season, it’s way too early to tell. In addition to focusing on defensive penalties, Pereira indicated that the NFL will have a renewed emphasis on offensive pass interference penalties. The likes of Calvin Johnson and Michael Crabtree are well known for getting away with pushing opposing defenders off a the point of contact.

For Seattle, this could potentially signal a transition in defensive philosophy in that it might not be able to get away with as many penalties. However, it’s not going to change how they play the game…in your face and physical.

Photo: USA Today