After Richard Sherman hit his kicker below the belt, setting off a chain of events that eventually resulted in a crucial missed field goal before the half, there was no doubt Bills coach Rex Ryan would have something to say.
Ryan was seen jawing with the Seahawks cornerback later in the game after Sherman picked off a pass, returned it near the Buffalo sideline and stared down Ryan after the play.
“He’s mean-mugging like he’s always doing and whatever,” Ryan told reporters after the game. “Guy’s a great player, but he does, you know. I guess it wasn’t as bad as I thought, I thought he roughed our kicker. It was a ridiculous play, no question. Then he’s over on the sideline basically taunting us, so I had some words. I think I said ‘You’re too good a player to act like an ass.’ I think that’s what I said.”
Sherman tried to take the high road, but with a twist.
“I didn’t hear what he said. I’m sure he said something, you’d have to ask him. I didn’t hear him,” Sherman said. “Our stadium is too loud, and they were going crazy right there. I didn’t say anything, I just looked at him.”
Ryan does have every reason to be upset. As NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino noted during the game, Sherman’s call should have yielded an unnecessary roughness penalty for hitting Bills kicker Dan Carpenter. Instead, Seattle was flagged for being offsides and Buffalo was charged a fourth injury timeout. Buffalo had to sideline Carpenter for one play before he was able to go back out on the field and attempt a kick (he made the second attempt but that play was flagged for delay of game, then Carpenter missed the third as time expired in the first half).
Legality aside for one moment, Seattle has been an absolute nightmare for kicking units this year — especially after linebacker Bobby Wagner vaulted a Cardinals long snapper and blocked a kick a few weeks ago. Combined with Sherman’s speed and smarts off the edge, it would not be surprising to see us talk about Seattle’s kick blocking team again in a big spot this season.
Ryan certainly won’t forget.