Tag Archives: Purple People Eaters

Carroll’s Legion of Boom channels Grant’s Purple People Eaters

Earl Thomas punches the ball out of the hand of Benny Cunningham at the goal line, saving a TD and giving the Seahawks the ball (Seahawks.com)

If you want to know the secret to Seattle’s uncommonly dominant defense, all you have to do is go back about 40 years to the Purple People Eaters.

Before the Seahawks — led by the Legion of Boom — capped a three-year run as the No. 1 scoring defense Sunday, the last defense to accomplish that feat was the Minnesota Vikings, from 1969 to 1971. Led by one of the NFL’s legendary lines — Alan Page, Carl Eller, Leonard Marshall and Gary Larsen — they were known as the Purple People Eaters.

It might not surprise you to learn that those Vikings were coached by Pete Carroll’s mentor, future Hall of Famer Bud Grant. (To add to the historical symmetry, Grant’s D-line coach was Jack Patera, who later became Seattle’s first coach. And Eller finished his career with Patera’s Hawks in 1979.)

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