I’ve been taking every game as a championship opportunity, and I’m just happy we have another one coming up this Sunday with Arizona. We’ve been doing a really good job of zoning in each week, and focusing on the importance of that one game.
If we continue approaching it that way, then when the real championship opportunity comes in a playoff game or the Super Bowl, we will have been preparing for it all this time, and it will be just like we’ve been there before. That really calms your mind, and when your mind is relaxed and your body follows, that’s when you play at your best.
The great thing about this upcoming game is we’ve already faced the Cardinals this year. I always like to have a game under my belt against an opponent as far as having film, just to watch and see what happened. I look for what I did well against them the last time, and if they got any plays on me. That’s always a big help. With Carson Palmer, it’s his first year in this division, so that first game’s film will help me really understand how they will try and attack us.
Their record speaks for itself. They’re 9-5 and it’s hard to win in this league, so obviously, they’re a good team. It just shows how good the NFC West has become. We definitely have to pay attention to detail because I think this could be a trap game and one we could lose if we fall asleep.
Larry Fitzgerald is definitely a game changer for them, especially if he builds confidence and feels like he’s having some success. He does a great job of building on that. So we definitely have to know where he is at all times, and be ready when the ball goes up, because he has the ability to go up over two or three defenders and catch the ball. This is a great opportunity for our team to use the personnel of the teams we’re playing to raise our game. I love playing the best because that’s how you measure yourself — when you’re playing against guys like Larry Fitzgerald.
But we feel very comfortable as a group, and we don’t change for anybody. We stick to who we are, and if you can beat us straight up, you deserved to win. We work on our craft going into every game so we’re very prepared and very connected to it throughout the whole week. We always feel like our chances are good, and we really feel good about the receivers we’re facing this week.
INSIDE THE LEGION
Our secondary is a tight knit group. We have guys who are at the top of the game in their positions. Richard Sherman is considered the league’s best corner. Brandon Browner is up there. Kam Chancellor is considered one of the best safeties in the league. We even have guys who are developing into that like Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane at cornerback. These guys all look at me as a leader, and it just fills my heart. You couldn’t ask for any better honor from better guys.
I think these guys are some of the most genuine people you would want to meet. People talk about Sherm and Kam as intimidating on the field, but there are two sides to every coin, and these guys are two of the goofiest guys around. They always have everybody laughing.
Sometimes you can see it, like when we’re winning big and we’re at home, you’ll see guys out there dancing and just having fun. That’s just how they are off the field. Kam looks very serious, but he’s a goofball. He loves to do that Chingy Chickenhead dance, and it’s the funniest thing because you don’t imagine a big dude moving like that. You have to see it to believe it. (I’ll try to make that happen.)
The Legion of Boom (courtesy of SeattleSeahawks.com).
As a group, we just have this chemistry. We’re tight off the field, but even more so on it. So when we’re at home, and the 12th Man is shaking up the opposing offense, we don’t even have to communicate or talk to each other about the play. We just have this feel for each other. We have certain looks we give each other, maybe a hand signal or a quick movement and just read each other’s body language for the call. We’re so well connected, especially right now, that everybody knows where each other is and is going to be.
My interception in last week’s game against the New York Giants is a perfect example. That play was the result of work we put in during practice. We’re all so in-tune with the game of football, we’re always coming up with ways to make the most of opportunities. We learned a lot from watching the Ravens with Ed Reed and their secondary. We saw a lot of tipped balls being capitalized on.
On that play, the Giants were in the red zone and tried to throw a fade ball on Sherm. We know in the league great quarterbacks always try to throw it to the pylon, and that’s what they were doing. Sherm was on it, but couldn’t get into position to make a pick. I’m always telling him and the other corners: If they can’t catch it, tip it up and I’ll be there. I got a great break on it and was right there to make a pick. Then I just tried to make like a receiver, and get two feet in before going out.
That is that unsaid connection I’m talking about.
Before I sign off, I just want all my fans to know how dedicated I am to my craft, how much this game of football really means to me and how much I want to be the best to ever do it. Not just the best safety, but the best teammate. Thanks for reading.
(Area 29 is the blog of Earl Thomas. To learn more about why it is called Area 29, click here.)