What Makes Seattle's Legion of Boom Great?

The Seattle Seahawks' great free safety in the center, aggressive cornerbacks on the edge, and strong safety who routinely lowers the hammer on contact smother opposing offenses.

Seahawks play quickly, close to the ball, and tackle. Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Byron Maxwell, and Jeremy Lane love to compete, challenge receivers, and control the game.

“Seattle has done a heck of a job evaluating guys with football character and toughness,” an NFC scout told me this week. “They have secondary length and football instincts.”

The “scheme” isn't novel or complicated on the whiteboard. Man-free, three-deep, and sometimes pressuring. Compared to league-wide various looks, inventive fronts, and combo coverages, such calls are simple.

Players have discipline and system faith. Buy in. Trust the coach. Believe your teammates. Go play ball.

The same routes are run every week to defeat Cover 1 and Cover 3: three-level combinations, slant-flat, four verticals to stress seams, and inside pick routes that create traffic versus man coverage.

The secondary continues to beat receivers at the line of scrimmage and cut down back-end throwing windows thanks to an athletic front four that gets home and versatile linebackers who can run, hit, and break.

“The long secondary has many anticipators. An AFC scout indicated they know how opponents would strike. Everyone attacks the football because they know the defense is weak. Earl Thomas is a great defensive player. Top 10 for sure. Maybe top five.”