Andrew Sharp wrote an amazing article over at Grantland about the Seahawks yesterday. The article was specifically about the Seahawks defense and how opposing fans need to realize that the unit is one of the funnest to watch in the NFL.
There are a lot of key points and I’m not going to just copy the entire thing here so I strongly suggest you click on the link and give the whole thing a read. It’s worth the five minutes of your day, especially on the Blue Friday before the biggest game of the season.
If you just want the best stuff, the cream in the center of the Oreo, check out the following excerpts from the article.
On all the recent hate towards the Seahawks…
You can hate Richard Sherman, you can hate the 12th Man and the stupid noise meter that shows up on every Seahawks broadcast, you can say they’re all on PEDs, and you can say they get away with more pass interference than anyone in football.
If you’ve rooted against the Seahawks the past two years, chances are you’ve made all these arguments. But nobody can really argue with what’s happened on the field.
And as dominant as the Seahawks have been, we’ve never taken the time to explain exactly how outrageous this defense really is. So I spent Wednesday afternoon getting lost in a YouTube wormhole of Seahawks interviews and highlight videos from this year. To help get you ready for this weekend, and to explain why anyone complaining about this defense is missing the point. There’s nothing from the NFL this year that’s been more awesome than the defense in Seattle.
On the huge amount of late/undrafted stars…
In a sports world obsessed with overachieving underdogs like Russell Wilson, it seems like the Seahawks D is weirdly undercelebrated. Look at the biggest names on the roster. Richard Sherman was a fifth-round pick who had teams trying to switch him to receiver at the NFL combine. Kam Chancellor went in the fifth round, too, and then turned into the most feared strong safety in the league. Red Bryant was a failed defensive tackle out of the fourth round until Pete Carroll switched him to defensive end and he turned into a monster. Michael Bennett was undrafted out of college before he started ruining quarterbacks’ lives every week.
The whole defense follows this pattern. The secondary lost Walter Thurmond and Brandon Browner to injury and suspension midway through the year, and they replaced them with Byron Maxwell (fifth-round pick) and Jeremy Lane (sixth-round pick), both of whom have been fantastic.
How the Legion of Boom has learned from one another…
“I wasn’t really a big hitter,” Sherman adds. “But when you’re in a room with these guys who lay their helmet every time, you can’t be the odd man who don’t hit.”
In the next breath, Chancellor: “My game from college, I’ve always been a guy that just wanna hit you. Hit, hit, hit and that’s it. Now, just watching these guys, the way they go after the ball, the way they play the ball, it makes me wanna go after the ball and get interceptions.”
Especially in the secondary, the best parts of every individual’s game become contagious, and the finished product is a group without any clear weaknesses.
On the physical and mental attitude the defense plays with each game…
This week a reporter at Seattle’s press conference congratulated Thomas on bullying the Saints receivers into irrelevance last Saturday, and wondered how they’d adjust to bigger, more physical 49ers receivers. “We can bully whoever we want to bully,” he said. “It’s about us. It’s about a mind-set.”
The Seahawks play fuck you football and they play it better than anyone. That’s the mind-set. They talk about bullying people, and then go bully people.