The Next Legion of Boom Could Be Brewing in Baltimore
For over half of a decade from about 2012 to 2017, the Seattle Seahawks possessed the best secondary in the entire NFL and some say one of if not the best in league history. They had one arguably the best corner in the league in the boisterous Richard Sherman, the hardest hitting safety since the late Sean Taylor in Kam Chancellor and the rangiest center fielder in the game with Earl Thomas. They called themselves the “Legion of Boom” and were the hardest team to both pass and run on because every member of the secondary was willing and proficient at delivering bone-crushing hits as well as making open field tackles. Sherman would essentially erase half of the field and blank the opposing team’s No.1 receiver when lined up against him, Chancellor would bring the wood at the line of scrimmage and all over the field when playing the run and pass and Thomas still to this day covers more ground faster than any other safety in the league. After making it back to back Superbowls in 2013 and 2014, winning one in the most lopsided Superbowl in league history in 2013 and dropping the other to no fault of their own the following year, the L.O.B. has dismantled. The man nicknamed “Bam Bam Kam” has been forced to suspend his playing career due to a serious neck injury, Sherman is now playing for Seattle’s division rival in the San Francisco 49ers and Thomas, who is being referred to as the reincarnation of soon to be Hall of Fame inductee Ed Reed will be patrolling the skies of the legend’s former stomping grounds after signing a massive four-year deal worth $55 million with Baltimore Ravens last week when free agency opened up. Thomas will now be the captain of yet another loaded secondary in the Charm City with ascending third-year corner Marlon Humphrey, versatile safety Tony Jefferson who could play the role Chancellor did in Seattle, the Ironman corner Brandon Carr who hasn’t missed a snap or start in his entire 11-year career, arguably the best nickel corner in the league in Tavon Young and Jimmy Smith, who when healthy plays at a Pro Bowl level. The Ravens lost several members of their No.1 ranked defense from last season, especially along the front seven. With the departures of four-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker CJ Mosley, last year’s sack leader in Za’Darius Smith and franchise all-time sack leader Terrell Suggs, the secondary will now be the backbone of the defense going forward and will be relied on more than ever. With the Browns recent moves that give them what looks like the most dangerous receiver tandem in the league with Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry paired with rising star quarterback Baker Mayfield, Big Ben Roethlisberger still at the helm of a lethal Pittsburgh Steelers offense even without Antonio Brown and lets not forget about AJ Green and the ascending Tyler Boyd in Cincinnati, Thomas and the Ravens will have their hands full in an AFC North conference loaded with offensive firepower.