Seattle didn’t make the playoffs Ugo Amadi Jersey , but its defense essentially did.
It helped Atlanta get to the big game last year and was the catalyst for Jacksonville’s stunning turnaround this season. It also got rave reviews down the stretch in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In a copycat league, this is the one being emulated right now.
And for good reason. The Seahawks rode the scheme to six straight playoff berths between 2012 and 2016, and as more of Pete Carroll’s defensive assistants moved on to become coordinators and head coaches elsewhere, they brought it with them.
Now, it spans coast to coast.
”It really takes on the flavor of the coaches that are doing it, so they have their uniqueness,” Carroll said. ”But there are a lot of similarities.”
Similar results, too.
The Jaguars ranked second in the NFL in yards and points allowed this season, relying on their defense to mask offensive deficiencies. The Chargers ranked third in scoring defense, allowing just two opponents to top 21 points in their final 11 games. The Falcons (eighth) and the injury-riddled Seahawks (13th) weren’t far behind. The 49ers finished 25th at 23.9 points a game, but were considerably better over the final five weeks of the regular season. They allowed 19.9 points during a five-game winning streak that included victories against three playoff teams.
Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Atlanta defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel, San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn and Jacksonville defensive coordinator Todd Wash all spent time in Seattle under Carroll.
Bradley, Manuel, Saleh and Wash were on the same staff in 2012. Former Oakland defensive coordinator Ken Norton also was there and had the Raiders playing the Seattle scheme until he was fired in late November.
”It’s good. It’s nice,” Carroll said. ”I love that the guys are getting the opportunities and they are doing stuff.”
Seattle players don’t seem as ready to credit anyone for doing it as well as they did while picking up the ”Legion of Boom” nickname in 2012.
”There is only one Seattle Seahawks,” linebacker Bobby Wagner said.
Maybe so. Seattle allowed the fewest points (14.4) and yards (273.6) in the NFL during the 2013 season and forced a league-high 39 turnovers. The Seahawks emphatically stated their case as a generational defense – right up there with the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 2000 Baltimore Ravens – with a 43-8 drubbing of Denver in the Super Bowl. The Broncos shattered an NFL record with 606 points during the regular season but were overmatched on the NFL’s biggest stage.
That same season, thousands of miles away, Bradley and Wash were building the foundation for Jacksonville’s current defense.
Two years later Dwayne Haskins Jersey , Quinn was implementing it in Atlanta with some help from Manuel. Quinn’s offensive coordinator at the time was Kyle Shanahan, who saw the defense every day in practice and knew he wanted it to be part of his rebuild with the 49ers this season. He hired Saleh. And former Jaguars head coach Bradley resurfaced with the Chargers.
”It’s a very sound scheme that starts with stopping the run,” Shanahan said. ”It makes you work all the way down the field, so it’s extremely tough to get explosives on. It’s tough to go against. They make you work for everything, and it’s something that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every week. It’s something that if you just do over and over and over again, it’s hard not to get better at it.”
The premise of the Seattle defense is that it uses an eight-man box to stop the run (one safety positioned close to the line of scrimmage) and a single-high safety who can get sideline to sideline in ”cover three” (a three-deep zone in which defensive backs split coverage areas into three sections). Cornerbacks play a lot of aggressive, bump-and-run coverage that works best when the four defensive linemen are pressuring quarterbacks. Linebackers are usually undersized and fast.
It’s a 4-3 base defense that incorporates many elements of the popular 3-4.
”We are all different in our own ways,” Manuel said. ”But … just the understanding of methodically making a team have to go 13, 14 plays to score and play with great red-zone defense and understand that taking the ball away is the most important thing. Plays are going to happen that are big, but if you eliminate the ones that you know are about to happen, offenses have to do something else.
”You call plays that guys understand. You can get exotic (and create) paralysis by analysis; guys are overthinking on the field. That’s part of what you see in this defense. I guarantee you in each one of these (Seattle-influenced) defenses, guys are flying around and playing fast because they’re not thinking.”
Regardless of the schematics and subtleties, the common thread is solid – more like star – players.
Seattle has Wagner, cornerback Richard Sherman, free safety Earl Thomas and strong safety Kam Chancellor, among others.
The Chargers boast disruptive pass-rushers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa, linebacker Denzel Perryman and cornerback Casey Hayward. They tied for fifth in the NFL with 43 sacks.
The Jaguars had the second-most sacks (55) in the league thanks partly to Pro Bowl defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson and budding star Yannick Ngak ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos are getting some healthy bodies back at cornerback as they try to win their final two games and avoid the franchise’s first back-to-back losing seasons in 48 years.With Denver out of playoff contention and facing a slew of injuries at the position, the Broncos placed star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. on injured reserve and signed free agent Craig Mager, who was released by the Chargers earlier this season.Harris sustained a chip fracture in his lower right leg two weeks ago and was hoping to return for the Broncos’ final game David Long Jersey , Dec. 30 against the Chargers, but that was only if Denver remained in playoff contention.The Broncos (6-8) were eliminated last weekend when they lost 17-16 to the Browns.The Broncos also expect to get Brendan Langley and Isaac Yiadom back from concussions when they visit Oakland (3-11) on Christmas Eve, and they’ll have Bradley Roby back.Roby required five stitches last week after lacerating his chin tackling Nick Chubb.“I could put my tongue through my face, so it was crazy,” Roby said Wednesday. “I’d never seen anything like that. And I was spitting up a lot of blood. It was one of those freak accidents. It’s football. I signed up for it. So, stitched it back up and get back out there.”They’ll also have cornerback Jamar Taylor back. His ejection last weekend left them with only one healthy cornerback in Tremaine Brock, and Cleveland scored its game-winning TD with safeties Justin Simmons and Dymonte Harris forced into route coverage in the fourth quarter.Mager was a third-round pick from Texas State in 2015 who played in 24 career games, 10 starts, with one interception for the Chargers before he was released with an injury settlement in September.“He’s got some physical tools we like. He’s a pretty good (special) teams player,” coach Vance Joseph said. “He was actually in the mix to start for the Chargers before having a major hamstring injury. So, we’ll see. It’s just one more good, young corner that we’ve added to the mix.”Harris, who was named a Pro Bowl alternate this week, moved into the No. 1 cornerback role following Aqib Talib’s trade to the Rams last spring and had another spectacular season before getting hurt two weeks ago.“He had a great year,” Joseph said. “Obviously, his role changed with Aqib leaving, I mean, he was the No. 1 guy all year. Toward the end of the season, he matched the best receiver each week. But he had a great year, leading and playing good football. We’ve missed him http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/bobby-evans-jersey , obviously. He’s a great player.”For the first time this season, Roby said he hopes the Broncos re-sign him in the offseason. Roby, who’s making $8.536 million this season, struggled early on in moving from nickel back to starter but came on strong as the season went along.“I want to be here. This is the team that drafted me,” Roby said. “I bought a house here. I love the organization. Why would I want to go anywhere else?”If the Broncos move on, they’re likely to target cornerback in the first or second round of next year’s draft.So, Roby has two more weeks to state his case, beginning with what could be the last NFL game in Oakland.“It’s going to be live out there,” Roby said. “The fans are going to be into it. They’re always into it, especially when they play us. It being Monday night, last game there, I’m sure it’s going to be like a playoff game.”The city of Oakland recently sued the Raiders and the NFL in federal court, asking for damages that will help pay off the approximately $80 million in debt remaining from renovations on the Coliseum. The antitrust lawsuit could push the Raiders to play somewhere else next season before they move to Las Vegas in 2020.Roby, for one, isn’t melancholy about never having to play on the stadium’s dirt baseball infield again.“I hate playing there. Their field is terrible. I’m glad they’re moving,” Roby said. “I’m not sad to see them go at all.”