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Armour: Boom! Huskies Secondary Makes Impression on Saban

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Washington Huskies head coach Chris Petersen. Photo: Johnny Andrews/The Seattle Times

ATLANTA — The Legion of Boom isn’t the only standout secondary in Seattle.

Washington’s defensive backs were flattered to hear Alabama coach Nick Saban compare them with the Seahawks. The Legion, led by Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor and the now-injured Earl Thomas, has been the NFL’s most fearsome secondary for the last several years.

“We try to emulate them for sure,” Washington cornerback Kevin King said Wednesday at the Peach Bowl, where the Huskies are preparing for Saturday’s College Football Playoff semifinal against Alabama. “They’re a great example of how to play the game, how to play the defensive back position.”

That the Huskies and Seahawks are in the same city makes the comparison a natural one. But it is also their style of play.

Much like the Seahawks, Washington’s secondary — cornerback Sidney Jones and safeties Budda Baker, JoJo McIntosh and Taylor Rapp join King in the starting lineup — is the cornerstone of the Huskies defense. Washington leads the nation with a +21 turnover margin, which includes 19 interceptions.

And while each team has some of the best individual defensive backs, it is their cohesiveness as a unit that wreaks such havoc.

“They’re very good cover guys. I think the scheme that they play, they don’t make a lot of mistakes,” Saban said this week. “They’re a little bit Seattle Seahawk-like in the fact that, `We’re gonna do what we do and we’re gonna do it really well.’

“They do a great job of executing the things that they play,” Saban added. “They do a great job of breaking on the ball.”

The Huskies will gladly take the compliment. But they’re also looking to make a name for themselves, too.

“We see our defense as a great defense,” Baker said. “But we feel like we’re Washington defense-like.”

By Nancy Armour

This article was republished with permission from the original author and 2015 Ronald Reagan Media Award recipient, Nancy Armour, and the original publisher, USA Today. Follow columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.

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