Mike Pereira agreed with Richard Sherman.
In essence, at least.
Fox Sports' NFL rules analyst, who formerly served as the league's vice president of officiating, told KNBR's "Papa & Lund" on Monday that he "really didn't like either one" of the personal foul calls against the 49ers on two of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray's slides during San Francisco's 24-20 loss on Sunday.
A day after the veteran cornerback said both calls "made it more difficult" for the 49ers, Pereira explained why he thinks officials "have to give the defense a bit of leeway."
"I felt both slides were a little late and there was not the use of a shoulder or a forearm or a helmet," Pereira said (h/t KNBR's Jake Montero). "We’re in this world where if you look at the stats last year, the roughing the passer calls that were made were an all-time record in the league. I just think we go a little bit too far and some adjustments are going to have to be made, because you’ve got more and more Kyler Murray-type players that are in the league, and you’re going to get this running."
Murray gained 91 yards on 13 carries, and the Cardinals gained 30 more on the aforementioned calls. The first added 15 yards to Murray's 11-yard scamper early in the third quarter, while the second gave the Cardinals a first down when they otherwise would've faced third-and-13.
The Cardinals ultimately took a 17-13 lead on that possession.
“It’s a frustrating thing when the refs make calls when he’s running the football and guys are trying to go over him and trying to halfway tackle him,” Sherman said Sunday. “You don’t know when to take the chance to tackle him or let him run. So, that was a tough thing today."
Pereira mentioned that quarterbacks now are protected the same way sliding headfirst as they would be in a traditional slide, and he said Monday that distinction makes things "even tougher" on opposing defenders.
The longtime official doesn't think the rule originally was designed to do so.
“To the letter of the rule, I’d say it’s a foul," he said. "To the letter of the intent of the rule, I really don’t think either one of those were.”