Is NFL singling out the Legion of Boom?

RENTON, Wash. -- Will the NFL allow the Legion of Boom to be who they are this season?

The Seattle Seahawks secondary is known for its aggressive play with tight, press coverage at the line of scrimmage. Opponents often accuse them of grabbing and holding downfield.

The NFL hierarchy, however, made a point in the offseason to say it plans to crack down on overly physical play by defensive backs, which some have said borders on defensive holding or interference. NFL officials have said they plan to throw more flags to limit that contact.

Physical play in the secondary is such a big part of what the Seahawks do that this decision seems deliberately directed at Seattle, so much so that some people are calling it the “the LoB rule.”

“That’s a beautiful thing,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s respect, to me. If that’s the conversation, then it’s a sign of respect and people trying to figure it out. I think we’ve contributed to that.

“The rules that have been emphasized going into this year, there is some attention to the fact of aggressive play at the line of scrimmage. There was some talk of that at league meetings. The adjustments that we’ve made are palatable. We can handle it.”

The Seahawks secondary is an athletically gifted group, so doing whatever is necessary (depending on how tightly the officials call it) probably isn’t a problem.

But Seattle free safety Earl Thomas said the Legion of Boom won’t alter its way of doing things.

“We are who we are,” Thomas said. “People understand that we’re very aggressive. The corners like to do their thing and [strong safety] Kam [Chancellor] and me, we do the same thing. So we can’t worry about that. We’ve got to stay true to who we are. At the end of the day, defense is dictating the pace of what’s going on. We proved that.”

Thomas said he isn’t concerned about officials singling out the Seahawks secondary.

“If they call it, they call it,” Thomas said. “But we’re not playing timid. We’re going to stay on the attack. If you wait to get hit, you’re going to get knocked out.”