Seahawks’ Legion of Boom: A decade of suffocating opposing offenses
Legion of Boom
The Seattle Seahawks legendary defense known as the Legion of Boom has ceased operations, but they left a decade of hard-hitting memories 12s won’t soon forget.
The L.O.B led Seattle to six-consecutive winning seasons, three division titles, two NFC championships, back-to-back Super Bowl appearances and a 43-8 dismantling of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, the franchise’s first-ever championship.
Between 2012-15, the Seahawks led the NFL in scoring defense for four-straight seasons, something never accomplished in the Super Bowl era.
Before 2019 comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the famed Legion of Boom:
Who is the Legion of Boom?
The Legion of Boom started when cornerback Richard Sherman was taken with the 154th pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He joined safeties Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor, along with cornerback Brandon Browner as the original starting members. Browner later signed with the Patriots as a free agent and was replaced by Bryon Maxwell.
The origins of the Legion of Boom nickname came after Chancellor, on a local radio show, said he liked to bring the boom. A fan on Twitter reportedly offered up the “Legion of Boom” nickname. Bumper stickers, t-shirts and websites were created and the rest is history.
So, where are they now?
Earl Thomas III
The Seahawks parted ways with Earl Thomas last summer after nine seasons. His departure from Seattle ended on a sour note: Thomas suffered a broken leg against Arizona and was seen giving Pete Carroll the middle finger while being carted off the field.
Now, a member of the AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens, Thomas is still known for his competitiveness and intensity.
The jack-of-all-trades safety continues to add to his Hall of Fame worthy credentials and was recently named to his seventh Pro Bowl, his first with the Ravens.
Richard Sherman’s claim to fame in the Legion of Boom was his elite trash-talking abilities, lockdown coverage skills and splash plays. We’ll never forget his glorious interview with FOX sideline reporter Erin Andrews where he reminded Michael Crabtree he’s the best corner in the game.
Well, he’s right. Sherman is still one of the best corners in the game. The fifth round pick in 2011 played for Seattle for seven seasons before joining division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers in 2018.
Sherman was recently named to his fifth Pro Bowl, his first with the 49ers and first since 2016 with the Seahawks.
Kam Chancellor was taken in the fifth round off the 2010 NFL Draft, the same year Seattle drafted Earl Thomas. He put the “boom” in the L.O.B with his merciless tackling and physical coverage.
Over eight seasons with Seattle, Chancellor recorded 641 combined tackles, 12 interceptions, 44 passes defensed and nine forced fumbles. He made four Pro Bowls and had two second-team All-Pro appearances.
Chancellor was released in 2018 after suffering a neck injury that suggested the risk of paralysis. While he has never officially announced his retirement, it appears Chancellor has hung up his NFL cleats for good…I think.
Brandon Browner was known in the Legion of Boom for his speed and athletic abilities. In 2011, he led the Seahawks with six interceptions and was selected to his only Pro Bowl appearance. He joined a small list of NFL players to win back-to-back Super Bowls with two teams: one with the Seahawks in 2013 and one with the Patriots in 2014.
After stints with the Patriots and Saints, he returned to Seattle briefly in 2016. He was later released after the team’s third game of the preseason.
Browner is currently serving eight years in prison after pleading no contest to an attempted murder charge and other misdemeanors.
Byron Maxwell was a crucial part of the Seahawks’ Legion of Boom following the departure of Browner. Maxwell’s claim to fame was his ruthless ability to punch out footballs and force fumbles. He had four solo tackles and forced a fumble in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Like Browner, Byron Maxwell also had two stints with the Seahawks. He returned to Seattle in 2017 after appearances on the Dolphins and Eagles. The following season, Maxwell was placed on Injured Reserve with a hip flexor injury and released from the team with an injury settlement.
Maxwell has hosted many community events, including football camps, with the Byron Maxwell Foundation, but for the most part he’s stayed quiet on social media.
Legion of Whom?
A defense that once included some of the most iconic defensive players, is now dismantled. Their legacy, however, is one that will live on far past this decade.
“I don’t think you can duplicate that again,” Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. “You had Kam (Chancellor) who was extremely smart and hit really hard. You had Earl (Thomas) who was able to somehow get from sideline to sideline within the blink of an eye and Sherm (Richard Sherman) who talked trash and backed it up. It’s a great group of guys, great group of individuals. Very smart football players that I don’t think you can ever duplicate again.”