All the shouting in the world can’t resurrect the 2010s era’s vibrancy, of which Carroll, linebacker Bobby Wagner and quarterback Russell Wilson are the last three culture carriers. And with the unhappiness that’s been signaled by Wilson, who voiced his displeasure with the offense before the season began, and the team owner Jody Allen, who is said to be increasingly intolerant of the team’s performance, change may be in the air.
Wilson, long obsessed with winning the Super Bowl, could demand a trade if he feels his window for a title in Seattle has passed. And Carroll’s once-contagious enthusiasm may not be enough to mitigate the damage from his conservative offense, one that seems better suited to the 1970s than the high-octane 2020s. General Manager John Schneider, who in his nine seasons in Seattle built these Seahawks, is rumored to be on the hot seat.
These Seahawks, same as every Seattle squad since that last Super Bowl appearance on Feb. 1, 2015, live in the formidable shadow cast by an era now long gone. No surprise: That’s the cost of greatness. The Legion of Boom teams played with such a burning ferocity and were so startlingly good — the defense allowed the fewest points scored four straight seasons, a feat only previously accomplished by the 1950s Cleveland Browns — that you watch the Seahawks now and somehow expect the past to be the present.
Then reality hits.
This is not the team of bombast led by the brash young cornerback Richard Sherman, who blanketed receivers, dared quarterbacks to throw his way, and never let a perceived slight go unchallenged.
This is not the team of the safeties Kam Chancellor, ripping wide receivers off their moorings, or Earl Thomas, darting across the field to scoop up fumbles and intercept passes sideline to sideline as if catapulted across the field. This is not Michael Bennett anchoring a smothering defensive line.
Those confident and often eloquent stars also helped usher in an era that allowed the league’s players to speak out and stand up as never before. Sherman and Bennett were unafraid to tell everyone how good they were, while also being more than willing to speak out on issues like race and police brutality. Lynch’s silence sent its own message of defiance.
“There was never any kind of backing down for those Seahawks,” says Louis Moore, a professor of history at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.