Huard: ‘Positionless’ secondary could be Seahawks’ new superpower

Jun 22, 2023, 12:33 AM

Seattle Seahawks Quandre Diggs...

Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs celebrates his interception on Jan. 8, 2023. (Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jane Gershovich/Getty Images)

Defense has always been the calling card for Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, and there is clearly a lot of potential for a 2023 Hawks defense that is full of up-and-coming players and includes some established stars.

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That being said, any good Seahawks defense will inevitably be compared to the famed Legion of Boom that led Seattle during its back-to-back Super Bowl appearances a decade ago. While those Seahawks teams had strong players on the defensive line and at linebacker, the headliners were clearly the defensive backs, most notably cornerback Richard Sherman, strong safety Kam Chancellor and free safety Earl Thomas.

If the 2023 Hawks defense establishes itself as a top-line unit, the secondary will likely again play a big part. It will be in a different way from the LOB, however, at least according to Seattle Sports’ Brock Huard as he shared last week when he joined Bump and Stacy.

Asked by co-host and fellow former Seahawks player Michael Bumpus if Seattle’s depth in the secondary will lead the way this season, Huard used an interesting word in explaining how he sees the Hawks’ secondary evolving: “positionless.”

“Where I think Pete and (Seahawks general manager John Schneider) the first time around changed the game with big (cornerbacks), long corners, the physicality of that Legion of Boom,” Huard said, “now I see them evolving and going, ‘You know what we’re going to be? We’re going to be more positionless.'”

Huard went through a list of Seattle’s defensive backs and how almost all of them have the ability to play more than one position, whether it means an outside cornerback or safety taking over at nickel cornerback, or even a safety moving inside the box to a linebacker spot.

“Back in the day it was, ‘You’ve got to deal with us, and we’re going to play post safety and this is what we are.’ And now, you’re going to have to deal with a crew on that back end that’s got Julian Love and Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs and (Devon) Witherspoon and Coby Bryant and three corners,” he said. “Certain weeks, if we want to match up and play Julian Love at nickel, we’ll do that. Certain weeks, if we want to play Jamal Adams at weak linebacker, we can do that.”

Huard’s observations fall in line with what K.J. Wright, who was a linebacker in the Hawks’ Legion of Boom era, said a few days later on Seattle Sports’ Brock and Salk about how he thinks the Hawks will use Witherspoon, a cornerback who Seattle selected No. 5 overall in the 2023 draft (read about that here).

This “positionless” approach is a potential superpower for the Seahawks’ secondary that is different from what made the LOB so dominant.

“I think it’s different because I think today’s game is different,” Huard said. “… The positionless availability of that secondary, to me, is what is so intriguing and so fun. I hope it’s a step in that direction of like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to deal with our versatility’ kinda like (opponents) had to deal with the (LOB’s) ferocity the first time around.”

Listen to the whole Bump and Stacy conversation with Brock Huard at this link or in the player near the top of this article.

More on the Seattle Seahawks

K.J. Wright: What the Seattle Seahawks’ defense is still missing
Rost: The good and bad news for Seahawks’ chances of dethroning 49ers
The new version of last year’s Seahawks could be NFC West rival
Should Seattle Seahawks consider blockbuster trade for Aaron Donald?

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