New levels, new devils: What we learned from the Seahawks Week 6 loss to Cincinnati

This wall won't hold forever — your time has come; it's now or never.

Seattle Seahawks v Cincinnati Bengals
Seattle Seahawks v Cincinnati Bengals / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
2 of 4

Clint Hurtt has added a new, fun wrinkle to the Seahawks' defense

Ten years ago, single-high coverage was all the rage because Earl Thomas made press coverage with bigger, slower corners a feasible strategy at the NFL level. For the Seahawks in particular, it meant they basically never had to line up in anything else, because Thomas up high and Kam Chancellor and KJ Wright down low made it impossible to exploit any of the usual holes that cover 1 and cover 3 create, namely the areas around the hashes.

Single-high coverages have long since gone out of style, especially once the league learned about the magic of two-high shell coverages that keep the entire offense in front of the safeties. Some quarterbacks lost their entire identities to these two-high looks, which don't require an Earl Thomas covering the entire deep part of the field to be effective.

Quandre Diggs is a great player, but Earl Thomas, he is not. And it seems the Seahawks have finally picked up on that fact, nearly half a decade after trading for him. He is not Earl Thomas. His best attributes do not manifest in the deep middle of the field.

Where Diggs does shine is right at the sticks. He's not Bob Sanders, but he does play the part well. For a defensive back listed at 5'9" and under 200 pounds, he's a remarkably physical player, with good tackling form and instincts. What's more is that the Seahawks' endless supply of defensive backs allows him and Jamal Adams to rotate up and down the field, adding layers of disguise to their coverage and extra physicality to their short-area defense.

It's been a minute, but the Seahawks finally have an answer for all the crossers and screens that have eviscerated their defense in the post-Earl era, and it's exactly what will help this defense evolve into the elite unit they have the potential to be.