Seahawks’ secondary isn’t a new LOB, but it’s coming together the same way
Jamal Adams’ first media session as a member of the Seattle Seahawks brought to light an interesting anecdote about the All-Pro and the man he’ll be paired with at the safety position in the Hawks’ starting lineup.
Adams and Quandre Diggs have been friends ever since they met when Diggs was a defensive back at Texas and the eventual LSU Tiger visited the school while being recruited as a high school prospect.
“Me and Quandre have been close ever since. Even when he was in Detroit, we talked literally every day,” Adams said of Diggs, who came to Seattle in a trade during the 2019 season.
That jumped out to 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil, who covered the Seahawks as a beat writer when the famed Legion of Boom was just starting to emerge a decade ago.
“That connection between the two of them, that friendship, and the fact that you now have a group of defensive backs who all are about the same age, I think that matters,” O’Neil said Friday on Danny and Gallant, noting that Diggs at 27 is only slightly the oldest of Seattle’s defensive backs. “… You’ve got a group of guys that are all at about the same point in their careers and that was a huge part of what happened with Seattle’s secondary before, and Jamal Adams talked about that and the impact that Seattle’s all-time secondary made when he was watching them as a college player.”
That “all-time secondary” was the Legion of Boom that began with safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor being drafted by Seattle in 2010, continued with cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell being added to the mix as 2011 draft selections and was capped off by the addition of cornerback Brandon Browner.
While O’Neil stopped short of saying the Seahawks’ current defensive backs will have the same kind of stellar play as the LOB, he made note of how similar the makeups of the two different versions of Seattle’s secondary appear.
“It is going to be the natural reference point to say is this the next generation of (the LOB). I don’t want to talk about the caliber of play because it’s not a realistic thing to say ‘Can they get back to being that?’ I want to talk about the connection between those guys because there was a real emotion link between Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner and then Byron Maxwell. There was a link between those guys.
“They went to each other’s hometowns in the offseason… There was a bond and a camaraderie between those guys that was really important to how they played. … It wasn’t like they stayed that close but at the beginning they were that close, and hearing Jamal Adams talk about that with Quandre Diggs and the connection there and realizing that defensive back room, that group is all about at the same point in their careers where none of them have really gotten that big paycheck and they’ve got an opportunity to come together and do something special.”
If that turns out to be the case, it would have all started with last year’s trade for Diggs, which didn’t take long to look like a steal (Seattle general manager John Schneider gave up a 2020 fifth-round pick to get Diggs and a seventh-round selection).
“When I saw how good Diggs was and the impact he made on the Seahawks, I was blown away. Justin Coleman was the last time that the Seahawks pulled off ‘grand theft defensive back,’ where they basically traded a seventh-round pick for him,” O’Neil said. “I think Quandre Diggs, based on what we saw last year when he was healthy, looked similarly.”
O’Neil’s co-host Paul Gallant is optimistic that Seattle’s secondary will make a big jump with Adams joining Diggs, Pro Bowl cornerback Shaquill Griffin and others, though he notes that the defensive line still needs some help.
“I think that as the season goes along, as these guys get used to playing with one another, assuming there’s no injuries, there could be some serious strides on this end,” Gallant said. “They’re just going to need some help on the front end.”
You can hear the full conversation beginning at about the 27-minute mark in this podcast.