The Legion of Boom ruled the defensive backfield for the Seattle Seahawks, intimidating opponents with tight coverage and big hits. Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor combined to make fourteen Pro Bowls and a half dozen All Pro selections during their time with the Hawks, but with the official release of Chancellor earlier this month, the Legion of Boom is officially gone.
Chancellor, of course, was lost on a garbage time injury against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10 of 2017 that appeared to potentially be just a minor issue initially. Sherman and Jeremy Lane were released on the eve of free agency in 2018. Thomas departed for the Baltimore Ravens in March on the on the type of rich free agent contract he’d been looking for.
That leads to the questions of not only how the secondary will look in 2019, but what kind of performance fans can expect as well. If one wants to go by the grades of ProFootballFocus, then the Hawks secondary could be in for a long year.
With @KamChancellor, @RSherman_25, and @Earl_Thomas all gone, the original Legion of Boom era is officially over. Let's take a look back at their team coverage grades:— PFF SEA Seahawks (@PFF_Seahawks) May 17, 2019
2011: 89.3 coverage grade (2nd)
2012: 92.7 coverage grade (1st)
2013: 94.0 coverage grade (1st)
2014: 90.3 coverage grade (3rd)— PFF SEA Seahawks (@PFF_Seahawks) May 17, 2019
2015: 90.8 coverage grade (3rd)
2016: 82.9 coverage grade (14th)
2017: 92.6 coverage grade (3rd)
Seahawks' coverage grade last season: 79.4 (14th)— PFF SEA Seahawks (@PFF_Seahawks) May 17, 2019
In short, in the two seasons that the Seahawks secondary was without Earl for a decent portion of the year, 2016 and 2018, the team’s coverage graded closer to average than to top of the league. Thus, it becomes a question of how well the team will be able to perform on the field in 2019 without Thomas around.
Add in that the best performance in the Seattle secondary in 2018 from a player who stayed healthy all season was arguably Justin Coleman, and all of a sudden things are even more of a question mark. Bradley McDougald of the mighty University of Kansas Jayhawks returns, and hopefully the knee issue which bothered him the majority of 2018 is recovered. However beyond that there is little more than the upside potential of youngsters like Marquise Blair, Tre Flowers, Ugo Amadi, Shaquill Griffin, Delano Hill and others.
Pete Carroll put together a star studded secondary when he first arrived in Seattle, and 2019 will be an opportunity to see if he can replicate that kind of success a second time around.