The Seattle Seahawks’ defensive backfield now is home to Jamal Adams, Shaquill Griffin, Quandre Diggs, and Quinton Dunbar - pending legal issues. Tre Flowers otherwise keeps his spot if Dunbar ends up never playing a snap for Seattle.
It’s the most impressive quartet of names since Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas went their separate ways, and it would be the most talented group since the original Legion of Boom were all healthy at the same time during their incredible Super Bowl run.
The original LoB was so good and so iconic that apparently fans will continue to make comparisons, hopes, and wishes for a successor to rise from the ashes.
LEGION OF BOOM 2.0 #Seahawks pic.twitter.com/oQwr27qlRN— Emerald City Sporting News (@ECSN206) July 25, 2020
Jamal Adams to the Seattle Seahawks!!! is this make us the legion of boom 2.0?— George Jarjour (@gjarjour) July 25, 2020
PS: Thank you Jets and Adam Gase
Sincerely, Russell Wilson, and all the Seattle Seahawk fans pic.twitter.com/KQzraYnvap
Welcome to Seattle!! With you and Quandre Diggs at safeties, Shaquill Griffin and Quinton Dunbar at corners, we now have the Legion of Boom 2.0! "Who's got my back? I got your back!"— the dude (@g_to_the_j) July 25, 2020
Pricey for sure, but this could be the start of Legion of Boom 2.0 https://t.co/SVXYXy4pVv— Jeff Ratcliffe (@JeffRatcliffe) July 25, 2020
But then again, humans seem to enjoy putting “2.0” tags on things for some reason, and Seahawk fans are no exceptions.
Glad we kept ursua on the Seahawks roster. Doug Baldwin 2.0 written all over him— Elam, M (@melamparo) September 1, 2019
This is not the first time LoB 2.0 has been brought up, not by a long shot. But this particular four-man grouping is the first one that actually deserves some thought. How do these defensive backs stack up against the original squad?
Let’s compile some of the basic statistics over each athlete’s best three-year stretch (since that’s all Jamal Adams has)
The Challengers to the Legion of Boom Throne
The Actual Legion of Boom, the ones who forced a name to be created to herald their coming and inspire fear in the faces of all who dare oppose them
Chancellor is difficult but we’ve gone with 2011-2013 as his most effective three-year stretch, fully conceding that 12-14 or 13-15 would have been dynamic as well.
LoB: 46 (A ridiculous 20 coming from Richard Sherman)
Fumbles (forced / recovered)
LoB: 18 / 9
2.0: 8 / 5
2.0: 14 (12 of these coming from Jamal Adams)
Tackles for Loss:
2.0: 45 (28 of these coming from Jamal Adams)
Jamal Adams has the most sacks (11), hits (11), hurries (27), and total pressures (49) among all NFL defensive backs since joining the league in 2017. pic.twitter.com/4xn9OVztpo— PFF (@PFF) July 25, 2020
Over a three-year average, Sherman, Chancellor, Browner and Thomas have been a better corps in most of the easily recognizable statistics. They also did this entirely on the field at the same time, something the new class has yet to prove.
Fascinating, Jamal Adams alone tipped the scale in harassing the quarterback. He has more sacks and tackles for loss than the entire Legion of Boom did combined. And he’s done it in the first three years of his career. It will be the biggest point of contention among Seattle fans if Pete Carroll and Ken Norton do not get Adams into the backfield.
Unfortunately, there’s some more fun math that’s unavailable to us for the moment. Some of the advanced statistics at pass coverage weren’t as readily available during the early days of Thomas, Sherman, or Chancellor. Additionally, we can’t compare things like secondary DVOA because the challengers have not yet played together. They’ve only even played as a trio for the handful of games that Quandre Diggs was healthy down the stretch last year.
So the current DBs, are they close? Can we dub them the Boom’s Echo?
There’s one possible exception I’ll get to in a second, but the challengers have a long road to go.
Consider perhaps the most damning piece of evidence:
Average Approximate Value per player (three-year span)
As stated in previous pieces, AV is useful primarily as a reference point for comparison. I have no idea if a 12 is actually worth twice as much to a team as a six, or what number a first-round pick is expected to produce in their first three years.
However, Pro Football Reference attempts to evaluate every player over every season, and double digits are really good in this category.
The fact that the average of the Legion of Boom is 12 points higher than Dunbar, Griffin, Adams and Diggs is frankly, ridiculous. 12 AV is more than any season produced at any time by the current Seattle athletes except Jamal Adams in 2019. Essentially, the Legion of Boom was one Pro Bowl Jamal Adams season better as a unit than the current unit....according to AV, which admittedly is like a quantified eye-test.
But still, kind of insane.
The good news for the cohesion of this squad is that the player coming in is the best player. Jamal Adams should be able to fit in extremely well - even with limited preseason - surrounded by the experience of Bobby Wagner and Quandre Diggs.
This is not to say it’s impossible for this squad to achieve greatness in their own right. The 2.0 Boomers already have two Pro Bowl athletes, and it’s not unreasonable to think that Diggs and Dunbar can play up another level if these four really gel.
The biggest difference here remains the playstyle of Jamal Adams. This will not be the Kam Chancellor, scare-Demaryius-Thomas-into-retirement squad through big hits. But with Adams propensity to blitz, and with Shaquill Griffin already having more tackles for loss than Richard Sherman, this secondary is poised to be more aggressive at the point of attack in an attempt to lock down the passing game in a different way than its predecessor.
But hold off on any crowns for the moment.