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Focus on: Byron Maxwell, and the Legion of Boom

When cornerback Brandon Browner was injured and then suspended last season, Byron Maxwell stepped in and “ran away with the job,” as linebacker Bobby Wagner puts it. Now, Browner is playing for the Patriots and will face the Seahawks in Sunday’s Super Bowl.


PHOENIX – Once a Legion of Boom member, always a Legion of Boom member.

Says who? All-Pro cornerback and original L.O.B. member Richard Sherman, that's who.

"I think it keeps growing as our group continues to grow as well," Sherman said.

And that still includes Brandon Browner, who started 36 games for the Seahawks from 2011-13 and is now starting for the New England Patriots – the team that the Seahawks will play in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in nearby Glendale.

"He's still an L.O.B. member, he's still a great friend of ours," Sherman said.

Browner wasn't with the Seahawks when they won Super Bowl XLVIII last February, because he was serving a league-imposed four-game suspension.

Byron Maxwell stepped in to replace an injured Browner last December, and intercepted four passes in his first five starts. And Maxwell is still there at right cornerback, opposite Sherman. Maxwell led the NFL's No. 1-ranked defense with 12 passes defensed during the regular season, when also had two interceptions, a forced fumble and 39 tackles. He added another pick in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers.

"Byron has done a great job," All-Pro middle linebacker said on Monday during the Seahawks' media session, which followed their first practice of this Super Bowl week. "He stepped in and definitely took that spot. He held his own. They tried him so many games and he's been getting pick after pick and making deflection and deflection.

Photos of the Seahawks media events on Monday.

"So I definitely feel he's held his own at that position. As soon as he got his opportunity, he ran away with the job."

The Legion of Boom also includes the obvious – the All-Pro safety tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. But the starters always have embraced the entire secondary as L.O.B. members. When the defense was announced before home games, each starter waited at the end of the tunnel for the others, and they in turn waited for the rest of the defensive backs before taking the field as a unit – or Legion, if you will.

This season, that included holdover members Jeremy Lane, Jeron Johnson, DeShawn Shead and Tharold Simon, but also newcomers Marcus Burley and Steve Terrell. Burley was acquired in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts on the day in August when the roster was cut to 53 players. He stepped in as the nickel back for seven games while Lane was out with a groin injury. Terrell has bounced between the practice squad and active roster this season.

"Those guys have made an impact in their own ways," Sherman said.

Like Browner, Chris Maragos (Philadelphia Eagles), Walter Thurmond (New York Jets), Will Blackmon (Jacksonville Jaguars), Chandler Fenner (New York Giants), Winston Guy (Jaguars and Colts) and Ron Parker (Kansas City Chiefs) left the Seahawks and played with other teams this season. But the current Legion of Boom members continued to follow them.

"It's always fun to see people get better in this game through hard work and dedication, improve their understanding," Sherman said. "We always keep track of our guys."

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