Anyone who is trying to change the face of anything has to set a new standard.

That was my goal from day one in the NFL. I wanted to change people’s perceptions of the safety position. Safety has been an unappreciated position in the league for a long time. It’s proven to be an invaluable position, especially for our defense in Seattle.


Safeties have to do all the thinking. We have to be ahead in the mental game, and the mental part to me is maybe 90% of football. If you don’t know how to communicate, if you can’t recognize when guys aren’t in the right spot, you can’t play football. You have to know where to be before the play even snaps. If you can’t play fast, you’re not going to have a chance.

So for three seasons, I worked to set a standard. After winning a Super Bowl and signing a new contract — the highest ever for my position — I felt like I had made progress.

There were other things that told me how far I’d come, too. Around the time of the draft, Ronnie Lott — the Hall of Fame defensive back — sent a few thoughts my way.

To receive that tweet was amazing. “Man,” I thought, “Ronnie Lott kind of knows who I am.”

You look at everything that happens to you, especially that kind of thing, you feel like you’re on the right path. When the right people are showing up in your life, people that did what you do at a high level, that means something is right.

The Legion of Boom has also played a huge role in helping me continue to strive to be the best. That’s because we’re all striving to be the best.


We have Richard Sherman, and Sherm is just a smart guy. Very calculated. (If you haven’t noticed, he’s kind of a marketing guru.) And his play on the field speaks for itself. Numbers don’t lie. He’s one of the least targeted guys in the NFL, and he led the league with eight picks. He doesn’t give up big plays. He’s clutch. The guy isn’t just elite. None of the other defensive backs in the NFL are on his level. He’s separated himself.

We all have. We have the number one corner in the league. We have my brother Kam in the secondary. We also have a great coaching staff. These guys make my job very, very easy. And we’ve set the standard for what a secondary can aspire to be.


As you might have noticed, everyone is trying to reach that standard.

Sitting back and watching the draft, you could see other teams try to upgrade their defenses. They did the same thing in free agency. A lot of players got great contracts because of it — a lot of players who deserved it. Joe Haden is a guy I respect a lot. We came into the NFL in the same draft class. We’re very close. I was very excited for him to get his extension.

All of that said, what we have here in Seattle with the Legion of Boom is very unique. Just like the 12th man is unique. The truth of the matter is this:

You can’t really copy what we’re doing.

You can try to have the same scheme. But what separates us is our intellect and our personnel. The biggest reason for our success is that we hold each other accountable for every little detail.

I really believe in the idea of iron sharpening iron. We are our brothers’ keepers. That’s a saying we have here. We really hold each other to every little detail whether it’s running for the ball, being on your indicators, doing your job, owning your role, not listening to misleading distractions and just getting to who you are, and just being you.


We’re unique. We all bring these different abilities that we’re so good at. It’s Sherm and Maxwell with their long arms, using their bodies and minds right to cover receivers. It’s Kam Chancellor, the enforcer, or me on the backend, working ourselves to the limit. When all those things come together, we’re hard to beat.

I always say to myself, “If I give 100% effort mixed with my God-given ability, it’s going to be tough for you to beat me.”

I stay ahead of the curve by having the heart of a champion. I will not let anyone outdo me. I won’t let anyone go harder than I’m willing to go.

I’m committed to commitment.

I want to be the best no matter what I’m doing. I want to be the best note taker. I want to be the best when it comes to retaining information. I want to be the best communicator. I want to be the best DB in the league.

When you see all these other teams trying to do what we have done, it’s a very rewarding feeling. But it also makes you want to go back to work, and push even harder to see if you can unlock another door.

The process has already started for us. When we’re watching tapes, it’s just a different level of understanding. Everybody else in the room, everyone in the LOB, they feel it, too. We all know there’s so much more we can get better at in football. We talk about ideas. We talk about how we can communicate better. We talk about adjustments we can make.

We’re all tied on a string, and the way we communicate is going to keep separating us even further from the competition. We’re growing in our mental game and physically as well. The game is slowing down.

We may have lost some players who helped us win the Super Bowl, but I understood what it took for us to get there. I’ve never lost sight of that vision, and I expect us to get back there again. Especially if I have anything to say about it.