In copycat NFL, Seattle's defensive scheme keeps spreading
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Seattle didn't make the playoffs, but its
The scheme that carried the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowls (2013-14) has become increasingly popular around the league. 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
Now, it spans coast to coast.
"It really takes on the
Similar results, too.
The Jaguars ranked second in the NFL in yards and points allowed this season, relying on their
Los Angeles Chargers defensive
Bradley, Manuel, Saleh and Wash were on the same staff in 2012. Former Oakland defensive
"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
That same season, thousands of miles away, Bradley and Wash were building the foundation for Jacksonville's current
Two years later, Quinn was implementing it in Atlanta with some help from Manuel. Quinn's offensive
"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
It's a 4-3 base
"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
"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
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 Ngakoue. Cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye also were the league's top coverage tandem, and linebackers Myles Jack and Telvin Smith are two of the fastest around.
The Falcons are built around linebackers Vic Beasley and Deion Jones, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, cornerback Robert Alford and safety Keanu Neal.
All of those guys nearly made the playoffs. Los Angeles and Seattle were among the final few teams eliminated from
The Seahawks are out of the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The Seattle
"It's a difficult scheme to go against because it limits you on some of the things you can do. They specifically take certain things away. You just have to be creative and find some of those basic things and be OK with some easy checkdowns and some easy, quick 5-yard completions because that's what you have a chance for," Jaguars offensive
Added 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo: "A lot of teams are running this
AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow in San Francisco and AP Sports Writer Charles Odum in Atlanta contributed to this report.
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