Change is inevitable. That's what we've come to expect in life. So it's no surprise football fans around the league want to know what's changed with the Seahawks since the final play of Super Bowl.
"Nothing has changed," receiver Doug Baldwin said. "It's the same mindset, the same environment. We come in here every day. Practice is everything. We're going to compete. We're not going to turn the ball over and we're going to play with enthusiasm, toughness, effort and play smart. None of that stuff has changed. We'll go out there and do it again. "
The same principles that Pete Carroll established in 2010 still hold true. Changing personnel, like adding Jimmy Graham and Tyler Lockett, doesn't mean the team is changing course.
"I don't think things are different. As much as everyone puts on the offense for not running the ball on the one-yard line, we could have stopped them and not even put the offense in that position," Pro Bowl linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "So we got a lot of talented guys. We're going to continue to work and grind and I think we have a lot of room for improvement. That's scary because we felt like we've been good so far."
More than good. The Seahawks defense has led the league in scoring defense for three consecutive seasons becoming the first team to accomplish the feat since the Minnesota Vikings from 1969-71.
Kris Richard takes over as defensive coordinator following five years of working with the secondary. His play calling tendencies might look different from his predecessor Dan Quinn, but the message and mindset hasn't changed.
"Get the ball. Out-hit everybody and get the ball. That's the motto." Wagner said.
Newcomer Cary Williams noticed it right away. The seven-year veteran won a Super Bowl with Baltimore in 2012 and spent the last two seasons in Philadelphia. The word he hears most around the VMAC is a familiar one to 12s.
"Compete. That's the main thing you want to go out there and put your best foot forward each and every day and try to be better than what you were the day before and it's all about competing."
If you were to eavesdrop on a special teams meeting, Brian Schneider's message would sound very similar.
"Always effort. Every time, every meeting I have with these guys I'm either talking about effort or praising effort, 'cause if you don't have that, you have zero chance," Schneider explained. "That's where we start from with everything and we'll correct and keep working the techniques to improve from there, but it's all about playing hard and showing that on tape."
It's a message that hasn't changed with the addition of new talent like Lockett. In fact, it hasn't changed in five seasons.
"It's been the same ever since I've been here. It's all the same," Schneider said.
The offensive line measures effort in a specific way. "Take the hill" is a phrase they hear repeated in meetings and huddles. It doesn't matter which combination of linemen is on the field, they're striving to make the most of every opportunity, explained left tackle Russell Okung, and give every effort until the final play.
"We want to be the guys who are going to play you tough and finish you in the fourth quarter and last four minutes of the game," Okung said, "That's our mantra, who we want to be. And we want to be a part of a team that's known to be the most relentless, toughest guys on the field."
The reshuffling along the offensive line doesn't change that message. It makes it clearer.
"We are who we are. We've been solidified in our identity and what our 'ball is about. We've got young guys who need to step up and be a part of that," Okung said.
Toughness is a trait that also describes the Seahawks receivers. When asked about his favorite play made during training camp, Baldwin didn't describe an acrobatic catch or a touchdown. He detailed a block he made that sprung Robert Turbin for a big gain. It highlights the mentality of the receiving core.
"There's no job too little, no job too great for us," Baldwin said. "We're called upon to run down on kickoff or block on punt return and turn around and catch a game-winning touchdown or a third-down crucial catch. That's our philosophy, our mantra, that's what we live by."
That message is more prominent than ever according to Baldwin.
While fans around the country search for changes made by the Seahawks, the 12s will recognize the only real change comes in the team's resolve to stay the same, follow their philosophies and stick with the mindset that's led to consecutive Super Bowl appearances.
"It's more of an emphasis [here.] Everyone's competing against themselves rather than each other," said Williams. "We're just trying to get better each and every day. Better than we were the day before. If you can be the best you that you can possibly be, you're helping the team and in turn the team can be the best team it can be."