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Here Comes the Boom
My mentality when I first came into Seattle as a fifth round draft pick in 2010 was that I knew I had a lot of guys in front of me, so I didn’t think I was going to play right off the bat. But I approached it like I wanted to play my first year. I wanted to set my identity on special teams as a big, strong, physical safety and an athletic individual. I took that attitude every day at practice and then carried it over into the games my first year. I knew I had Lawyer Milloy in front of me, so I just sat back and tried to learn a lot from him.
It was big having a guy like Lawyer in front of me that first year because he’s been in the League for a while, so he knows all of the little tricks of the trade, tricks of the game. So I just took what I watched him do – how he anticipated routes, how he tackled guys, how he studied film, how he took that leadership role in the locker room. I just took that and ran with it in my second year.
It felt real good being named the starting safety last season. I took everything seriously. I studied hard, did a lot of extra work in the film room, studied up on my craft and continued doing what I first started doing when I got here and hoped that my role wouldn’t change too much – I can still be that physical presence, and that’s all I did.
At the NFL level it’s very different because everybody’s good. That’s something that I had to adjust to. There was a lot of stuff going on at the start, but I think I’ve adjusted to it. It took me until that second year to get to the point where everything really started to click for me. That first home game against Arizona where I got my first interception – I was able to identify the route combination and the game slowed down a little bit for me. It all started to slow down when we got to the games that second season.
I’ve never been a part of a secondary like this. We’re a very tight group. I know when Earl Thomas and I first got here we just clicked from the beginning. From the start we always said to each other that we were going to set the standard and that we wanted to be the best safety tandem in the League. The sky is the limit for us. We just go out here every day and work hard, try to get better, help each other out – call each other out when we’re doing something wrong, and we hold each other accountable. The cornerbacks – Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman – it’s the same thing with them. After we established us four as the starting group we set out together that we want to be the best secondary in the NFL. We all hold each other accountable and hold each other to high standards. We brought that mentality out amongst each other. Just seeing each other play we are amazed by what each other can do.
As a secondary, we like to call ourselves “The Legion of Boom.’ I think it was somebody out on Twitter that came up with it, and we just ran with that as a group. We feel like with everything we do on the field we all got that boom, so it’s the Legion of Boom. The whole secondary is part of the Legion of Boom – it’s everything we do on the field.
That song that plays in the stadium on game days, ‘Here Comes the Boom’…I don’t know if they did that for us, or what, but we just started hearing it and we’re going along with it. I like it, though. They need to keep that up.
I still don’t feel like any of this is real yet. It’s hard to believe I’m a starter in the NFL and that I’ve been to the Pro Bowl. It’s still like a dream right now. I don’t really get too high off of it. I just like doing what I’m doing – playing football for myself, my team, my family, and the 12th Man. I just love doing what I’m doing. Read