Detroit Lions CB Darius Slay says his defense rivals Seattle's Legion of Boom
The Seattle Seahawks have become the NFL's gold standard for defensive play. Richard Sherman is widely considered the league's top cornerback. Similarly, Earl Thomas is viewed as the best safety. Kam Chancellor is a great player, too.
This secondary, known as the Legion of Boom, has carried the Seahawks to consecutive Super Bowl appearances. As a result, former members of Seattle's defensive backfield, such as Byron Maxwell and Brandon Browner, have been scooped up in free agency by teams trying to replicate Pete Carroll's winning formula.
The Lions are one team that hasn't relied on Seattle's retreads to assemble a secondary like the Legion of Boom. Yet, ask cornerback Darius Slay, and he'll tell you Detroit's homegrown defense is just as talented.
"Nah," Slay said, when Carlos Monarrez of the Detroit Free Press asked whether Seattle's defense is markedly better than Detroit's. "We've got the same kind of talent they got. They ain't too much different. They got a pass rush, they've got DBs, we've got DBs. They've got 'backers, we've got 'backers."
The Lions fielded the league's second-best defense (after Seattle) last season in terms of total yards allowed. However, after the loss of All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in free agency, Detroit has some work to do in order to field an equally dominant defense in 2015.
Perhaps Detroit's secondary can help make up some ground.
Slay, a former second-round pick, became a full-time starter last season and is primed for a breakout in his third year. The Lions also have valuable experience at cornerback and safety in Rashean Mathis and James Ihedigbo, respectively. Rounding out the cast is safety Glover Quin, who intercepted seven passes and made his first Pro Bowl last season.
(h/t Detroit Free Press)