Kam Chancellor’s recent retirement marked the end of Seattle’s famed Legion of Boom secondary, but who better to create the NFL’s next great defensive backfield than the man who helped make the Seahawks’ so fearsome?
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The Legion of Boom’s peak in Seattle came during the two years Dan Quinn served as the Seahawks’ defensive coordinator. In both 2013 and 2014, the Seahawks ranked No. 1 in total defense, scoring defense and passing defense.
Now with the Falcons, Quinn once again has a young, talented defense and a secondary which The Ringer’s Danny Kelly believes has the “upside” to resemble what Seattle had.
“Talent’s certainly not a problem for the Falcons secondary, with a core group that includes cornerbacks Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford, and Brian Poole, and safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen,” Kelly writes. “But after reeling in just eight picks last year (tied for 29th leaguewide) and allowing a 91.9 opponent passer rating (tied for 20th), the team’s overall pass defense numbers underwhelmed. Narrowing the focus, though, the Falcons really shined inside their own 20-yard line, finishing fifth in both touchdowns allowed and points per opponent red zone trip. Atlanta’s ability to tighten up coverage and lock down receivers when it mattered the most, in close to their end zone—serves as an indication that this group, especially with the additions of former Cardinal Justin Bethel, rookie Isaiah Oliver, and Kansas City safety Ron Parker, could make a big jump in 2018.”
The Falcons’ secondary is one of the most complete units on the roster. After adding Bethel, Oliver and Parker in the offseason, Atlanta has quality depth to go along with its talented starting lineup.
Quinn has helped the Falcons make great strides defensively, and that’s also the case with their pass defense. In 2014, the year prior to Quinn’s arrival, Atlanta had the league’s worst pass defense, allowing nearly 280 yards per game through the air. In 2017, the Falcons had the 12th-ranked pass defense, up from No. 28 the year prior, and allowed just 214 passing yards per game.