Seattle's Richard Sherman met with the media following the Seahawks' fourth practice of training camp at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center, where the Pro Bowl cornerback and his club were coming fresh off of the team's first fully-padded workout.
"It's really intense, it's training camp," Sherman said of the vibe surrounding Tuesday's session. "A bunch of young guys fighting for a spot. Obviously we've got a ton of young guys. I think Pete said that we have 63 guys that are practice-squad eligible, or something like that. They kind of take the lead from the older guys and we set the tempo and they follow it."
Sherman said he "feels great" and his "body feels good" entering 2016, and as one of Seattle's veterans, he's become more appreciative of the "little things" that come along with football's dog days of summer.
"Obviously you know what to expect, you know what's expected of you," Sherman said of this year's camp, his sixth with the Seahawks. "You go out here and try to lead these kids. You go out here and try to enjoy every day and understand it's a blessing to be able to play this game to be able to do what you love every day. That's what I appreciate. You appreciate the little things. I appreciate my son being able to come out and watch me practice and run on the field. That's why I tried to have him so young, so he could see me before I'm 35 and barely walking."
Here's three more things we learned from the rest of Sherman's Tuesday press conference:
1. The Seahawks Are "Full Of Fighters"
The Seahawks started last year with a 2-4 record before getting to .500 in time for their Week 9 bye. The club then won six of its final eight games to finish the regular season 10-6 and secure a wild-card playoff spot. Sherman was asked what he learned from the up-and-down year that eventually ended with a divisional round loss to the Carolina Panthers.
"That we can overcome any circumstance," he said. "I think last year there were some difficult circumstances throughout the season. Guys have to fight through injuries, frustration, mental issues, but we continue to fight. We found ourselves. We found the love for one another. At the end of the day, we brought it together to do something special. We fell short, but we understood what it took to get there."
Sherman, who has cited boxer Muhammad Ali as a major influence, likened the Seahawks to a "fighter that's been getting roughed up the whole fight and knocks him out in the twelfth round and wins the fight."
"I don't think our team will ever give up," Sherman said. "Our team is full of fighters. ... We are hard to knock down, we are hard to knock out. With everything going against us, with all the chips down, you've got guys that believe that they are going to be successful. There's not anything you can do to build that, to teach that, to ingrain that, but it's just in us."
2. Tye Smith "Is Light Years Ahead Of Where He Was Last Year"
Tye Smith, a 2015 fifth-round pick of Seattle's out of Towson, was inactive for 12 games his rookie season. His only action came on special teams in his first year, but the Seahawks are excited about what he could potentially add to the position group.
"He is light years ahead of where he was last year. Tye Smith is light years ahead," Sherman said. "He is trusting himself, he is confident in his abilities. I think confidence is his biggest tool right now. He believes in himself, he believes what he sees and he's playing with it. There's great players out here, players that make plays, but if you believe in yourself and don't lose confidence you'll give yourself a chance every day."
3. "Guys Are Season-Ready. We Could Play Tomorrow If We Had To"
One major difference for the Seahawks this year is that the team opened training camp with strong safety Kam Chancellor and free safety Earl Thomas on the practice field. In 2015, Chancellor held out until Week 3 of the regular season and Thomas started camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list. Sherman said the energy is "different from last year" having those types of players in the mix from the jump.
"You can see the guys moving different," Sherman said. "There's more chemistry, there's more unity, there's more continuity. Guys are ready. Guys are season-ready. We could play tomorrow if we had to, at least with the first unit. That comes from guys just playing together, seeing each other, respecting each other, loving each other and appreciating one another."
Sherman called it a "tough camp" without Chancellor and Thomas last year, noting it's "just a different feel" when those players - two of the best at their respective positions - are in the fold.
"The energy is more enthusiastic," he said. "There's guys understanding and trusting one another. When you get younger guys out there who are unfamiliar with the situations then you second-guess in some situations. Like, 'Oh, is he going to be there? Is he not going to be there?' There was a play today on a post ball where I knew exactly where Earl was going to be, Earl knew exactly where I was going to be. It wasn't a guess. It was knowledge, years of playing together, years of being in very intense situations and trusting. So those things kind of go away when you're going with another guy, you try to build that chemistry."
Look through the best photos from Day 4 of Seahawks training camp at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.