Richard Sherman sees no difference in Seahawks’ defense this season

Dec 30, 2015, 6:43 PM | Updated: 6:52 pm
“We just stay the course and continue to do what we’ve always done,” Richard Sher...
"We just stay the course and continue to do what we've always done," Richard Sherman said. (AP)
(AP)

RENTON – It has looked and seemed at times this year like a different Seahawks defense compared to those of seasons past. And in some ways it has been.

The personnel isn’t the same, especially in a secondary that has been in flux both at safety due to Kam Chancellor’s holdout and then his injury as well as at cornerback with Byron Maxwell’s free-agent departure plus Cary William’s ineffectiveness.

But as far as how Seattle’s defense has played this season, cornerback Richard Sherman doesn’t see any any difference.

“It’s always the same. It’s always the same,” Sherman said Wednesday. “We limit people, we don’t give up a lot of yards. Whether the outside world realizes it or not is indifferent to us. Obviously, we’re always going to be in top two, top three, No. 1 most of the time in yards, scoring. I’m sure we’re top three in all of those – passing yards, rushing yards. People just lose (sight of) that sometimes in a season. We just stay the course and continue to do what we’ve always done.”

Sherman’s comments invite a closer look. Seattle’s ranks this season in the defensive metrics that he mentioned are similar to but not quite as good as what they’ve been the last two seasons. The breakdown is below (totals are per-game averages).

Total yards: 2nd this season at 295.9, 1st in 2014, 1st in 2013.
Passing yards: 2nd this season at 210.6, 1st in 2014, 1st in 2013.
Rushing yards: 3rd this season at 85.3, 3rd in 2014, tied for 7th in 2013.
Points: 3rd this season at 18.1, 1st in 2014, 1st in 2013.

The Seahawks are tied for 19th with 20 takeaways this season (with a game remaining), according to the website SportingCharts.com. They were tied for 20th last season and led the league in 2013. They have held opponents to a 33.9 percent conversion rate on third down, the fourth-best in the NFL after ranking eighth last season and 10th in 2013.

One area in which Seattle’s defense has been significantly worse this season is preventing explosive passing plays, defined as those of at least 25 yards. The 28 that Seattle has allowed this season are tied for the 10th-fewest, according to SportingCharts.com, but the Seahawks allowed the fewest in the NFL in each of the past two seasons.

Here’s a bit more of what Sherman had to say Wednesday:

(On what players think about Marshawn Lynch rehabbing away from the team) “They’re good with it. Whatever works. Different strokes for different folks. We know when that guy comes in the building and he gets on the field, there’s nobody like him. There’s nobody who’s giving more effort, who’s going to sacrifice more for their team. There’s no question about his loyalty to the team or his work ethic or anything like that. That guy is exactly who we think he is. If he needs to rehab at home, we’re all for it. We know he keeps the team first in his heart, so we have no questions about his intentions or anything.”

(His assessment of the way he’s played this season given how he’s moved around more than ever before) “Yeah, I’m pretty happy with it. I think I played good football. I think I’ve given up, what, 29 completions on the year. That’d be a great year for anybody but me, but it’s an off year for me. It’s just one of those things, you try to do your best to do your job. Try to be there when they need you to, be prepared when it comes because some games it doesn’t come. Some games you don’t have to travel, some games you don’t have to move at all. I just try to stay mentally prepared when it does, and I think I’ve done a good job.” Here’s more on how Sherman’s role has expanded this season.

(On whether he’s seen the film “Concussion” yet) “I have not. I see a concussion movie every Sunday. For free. Don’t need to go to the theater.”

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Richard Sherman sees no difference in Seahawks’ defense this season