If the NFL is anything, it’s a copycat league. All you have to look at is the latest frenzy in free agency to realize this. The current Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks, had their defense to thank for their success, suffocating teams on their way to the title game. And then, well, everyone saw the defense completely shut down the Denver Broncos’ record-breaking offense in the biggest game of all. By keeping their defense together, the Seahawks may be a favorite with www.bettingsports.com to repeat their success next year.
This success does not go unnoticed by the rest of the league. The Seahawks’ success wasn’t down to a number of high-level draft picks, splurging on established names in free agency, or even taking players other teams wanted. They used tall corners in Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell, and Brandon Browner. They employed a linebacker-sized safety in Kam Chancellor, who played up in the box and laid the smack down on anyone brave enough to catch a ball in the middle of the field.
This made the basis for a dominant defense, which is sure now to be the blueprint for defensive coordinators across the league.
The copycats in free agency
First of all, the Seahawks made it a priority to bring back defensive end Michael Bennett. As part of their defensive line that put so much pressure on Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl, Bennett more than earned his long term deal, and was an absolute must-buy for Seattle in free agency.
New York Giants
The Giants have attempted to create their own elite cornerback duo with the signings of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Walter Thurmond. Thurmond joins the Giants from Seattle, where he played nickelback, and DRC joins from the Broncos. Both talented cornerbacks, this could be the start of a good secondary for the Giants.
The Broncos experienced first-hand just what a dominating defense can do. Maybe because of this, the Broncos handed a huge contract to cornerback Aqib Talib from the Patriots, an excellent and highly experienced player. Denver also added pass-rush specialist DeMarcus Ware, and safety T.J. Ward in an attempt to solidify their defense for another run at the Superbowl.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints saw how effective a good pair of safeties could be, as their all-world tight end Jimmy Graham was shut down by the Seahawks in two games last season. By drafting Kenny Vaccaro in the first round last year and signing free agent safety Jairus Byrd from Buffalo in this free agency period, the Saints hope to create their own tandem to rival Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
The saying ‘defense wins championships’ was never truer than last season, and the scramble to bolster defenses across the league is well underway already.