RENTON — Not that anyone questions the claim any longer, but if Seahawks defensive backs needed any further validation that the secondary known as “The Legion of Boom” is the best in the NFL, they received it in the form of this year’s Associated Press All-Pro team.
Cornerback Richard Sherman and free safety Earl Thomas both earned first-team All-Pro honors for the second consecutive year, while strong safety Kam Chancellor was named to the second team. The All-Pro team, unlike the Pro Bowl, only elects one player for every position on the field (i.e. one quarterback, two cornerbacks, two safeties, etc.) making the All-Pro team a more exclusive group.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Sherman, who led the NFL with eight interceptions. “It’s a great honor for all of us. It’s a blessing. It’s one of the goals we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year — I’m sure everyone set that individual goal — and as a unit we knew we could be one of the top units out there if we just played disciplined and did everything we said we were going to do.”
Since the AP started naming All-Pro first and second teams in 1972, only three teams have had three defensive backs earn All-Pro honors in the same season — the 1995 San Francisco 49ers, the 2002 Philadelphia Eagles and this year’s Seahawks.
“It shows how connected we are, how we were able to elevate this whole season from week one to week now,” said Thomas, who earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2011. “I’m just proud of Kam Chancellor, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He’s done a great job, he’s elevated his game, and I don’t think there is a weakness right now; he’s playing the best ball. So I’m very excited for him and also Sherm.”
It should hardly come as a surprise that a Carroll-led team is producing top-notch defensive backs. He first made his mark in the NFL coaching defensive backs, then as a defensive coordinator and was, in fact, the coordinator in San Francisco when the 49ers had three All-Pro defensive backs in 1995: cornerback Eric Davis and safety Merton Hanks, who were on the first team, and safety Tim McDonald, who was a second-team pick.
Asked how those two secondaries compare, Carroll said, “Very, very similar. We’re younger. We’re younger now, and we’ve got more future here … but very similar.”
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was the only unanimous pick, earning all 50 votes, which meant no second-team quarterback was named, an honor that possibly could have gone to Russell Wilson if voters were allowed to pick more than just a first team.
Marshawn Lynch, a first-team All-Pro last season, was a somewhat surprising omission from this year’s team considering two running backs earned first-team honors and two more made the second team. Lynch’s rushing totals are down a bit from last year, but he still ranked sixth in the league with 1,257 rushing yards, tied for the league lead in rushing touchdowns with 12, and set career highs with 316 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Herald Writer John Boyle: firstname.lastname@example.org.