The Seahawks added another talented player to an already strong position group, signing safety Julian Love on Friday.
Love, who spent his first four seasons with the New York Giants, started all 16 games at safety last season and was voted a team captain, and over his four years has proved to be a versatile defensive back capable of playing safety, lining up in the box, playing in the slot and doing just about anything else asked of him.
After signing his contract Friday, Love said he chose Seattle for "their vision of how they see their defenses. There's emphasis on playing a tenacious game, playing with juice, playing with energy, having smart players, and I think I fit that mold. And this city is electric. Getting to play against the Seahawks out here has been a cool experience for me, so I'm excited to play on the right side of things."
Love, a 2019 fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame, had a career-best 124 tackles last season, including six tackles for loss, as well as two interceptions, five passes defensed, and a fumble recovery. Love also has been a core special teams player throughout his four seasons. Asked to describe himself as a player, Love said he's mild-mannered off the field, but anything but that between the lines.
"I'm a little different off the field than what you might expect," he said. "I'm pretty cool, calm, collected, but I'm a fierce player. I like to describe it as, I'm the guy you're going to pick in pickup football behind the bleachers of a high school game. I'm a guy who can do it all, tackle well, play an aggressive style. Some people call me a silent assassin because I don't talk too much, but that's my game—it's a tough brand of football."
Another reason Love liked the idea of coming to Seattle was a chance to play for Pete Carroll, a former safety himself who has spent his career coaching up some of football's best defensive backs.
"He has energy, he has juice, and he makes you excited about the game of football, which is huge for a coach," Love said. "Not every coach does that. So I'm excited to be a student of a game under him. We were already talking ball in our brief moment together. So yeah, just the juice and passion he brings, it leaves a charge for sure."
Love joins a talented safety group that already includes Pro-Bowlers Quandre Diggs and Jamal Adams, as well as Ryan Neal, who is coming off of his best season. Neal is a restricted free agent, but the Seahawks placed the right of first refusal tender on him this week, meaning they can match any offer from another team. While that may seem like a lot of talented safeties, it's worth noting that, prior to Adams' injury in Week 1 last season, the Seahawks were planning on playing a lot of three-safety looks with Adams in the box taking the place of a linebacker, so there should be plenty of playing time available for multiple safeties, especially with players like Adams and Love offering so much versatility.
"I have a chance to join a special group," Love said. "You've got a few guys who are at the top of their game who I can learn the game of football. That's what I'm looking to do, I'm just looking to continue to build on my brand of football, continue to improve. I'm a young player, so I'm going to be learning the whole time while also playing well."