It takes longer to prove yourself in the NFL when you shuck conventions and go against the prevailing winds. But the Seattle Seahawks defensive ideology may become the convention if they continue their recent run of success. Head coach Pete Carroll has put together a unit that ranks second in scoring defense and fourth in total yards allowed through six games. And he's doing it without players high-profile players.
You won't find a Revis or an Urlacher or a Peppers on the Seahawks, but you will find three guys in the secondary who made the Pro Bowl last season. Brandon Browner has emerged as a top cornerback, and the safety tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor is unrivaled in the NFL. Richard Sherman, who plays opposite Browner, is no slouch at his position and provides the team with intensity. But the truly unconventional thing about this unit is their size.
While most cornerbacks give up size to the receivers they are covering, Browner and Sherman stand tall at 6'4" and 6'3", respectively. This increases the physicality they can bring to the position and makes them deadly on jump balls. Their size is paired with the hard-hitting Thomas, who Seattle drafted in 2010 with their first-round pick.
Before opposing offenses can get to the Seahawks elite secondary, they have to go through a speedy front seven that features sack-machine Chris Clemons. The University of Georgia product has produced 29 sacks in his 38 games since coming over from Philadelphia.
The mix of speed and power on Seattle's defense has made the likes of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Tony Romo head into the locker room as losing quarterbacks.