By Dayna O’Gorman // @DaynaOG
“Before the LOB [Legion of Boom] was the LOB, they were just a bunch of kids outta college trying to make a name on the field. They had to start somewhere, and I feel like why can’t we?”
Without knowing it, Seahawks safety Bradley McDougald possibly summed up the Seattle Seahawks 2018 defense in one quote.
The six-year vet is getting a lot of press lately due to the contract holdout of safety Earl Thomas and the medical status of S Kam Chancellor. However, he is not the only “new guy” that could be making a splash this season. There are a handful of players ready to continue the great tradition of defense for Seattle.
McDougald was an undrafted free agent picked up by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013. He spent time in Tampa Bay before landing in Seattle last season. With injury ending Chancellor’s season early, McDougald stepped up and made a big impression on the Seattle coaching staff, and the Seahawks fans, signing a three-year contract in 2018.
When asked, he said he is ready to play either strong or free safety as needed. That makes him very valuable with the current safety situation.
Bradley McDougald, SS, FS, Earl Thomas’ fill-in, Kam Chancellor’s possible replacement, speaking truth on #Seahawks defense: “As you can tell, it’s a different era…things are changing around here.” @thenewstribune pic.twitter.com/ht2ShjikQ5
— Gregg Bell (@gbellseattle) June 14, 2018
Another guy ready to step up into the very big shoes of the original Legion of Boom is cornerback Justin Coleman. Again, not a rookie, having played in Minnesota and New England. Seattle picked him up in a trade with the Patriots for a seventh-round draft pick. He played in all 16 games last season (starting 5) and had two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns.
Although it could be easy to forget, not all changes surround the secondary. The defensive line had some huge losses with both defensive ends Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril leaving the team. While many are excited to see rookie Rasheem Green play, with good reason, it’s veteran Frank Clark that I believe will truly shine. After living in the shadow of the amazing Bennett/Avril combo, I expect Clark to take the leadership of the line and run with it.
— Samuel Gold (@SamuelRGold) October 2, 2017
We must talk about the star of the Seattle Seahawks offseason, LB Shaquem Griffin. I mean, come on… is there a better story in the NFL? But it’s not just the story that is important, it’s his speed. Griffin ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at the combine and was known for his quickness during his final year at UCF. Don’t be surprised if both Griffin brothers are a huge addition to the new version of the defense.
I invite everyone to join me in taking a wait and see approach to the 2018 Seahawks season.
— David (@David_Seahawks) June 13, 2018
Change is hard, but it can also be exciting. And as hard as it may be for Seattle fans to accept this new defensive reality, and as much as the media want fans to panic, the future is not as dire as it may appear. With all this new talent, the stars we already have on defense (have we forgotten Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright?) and hopefully the return of Earl Thomas, the 2018 season could be a lot of fun.
Follow Dayna on Twitter // @DaynaOG