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September 2, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas on the Super Bowl hangover, defending Aaron Rodgers, and more

Seahawks safety Earl Thomas met with the media following practice today. Here’s what he said:

(On overcoming the hangover of the Super Bowl and getting past the hype of the win and looking on to this season) Well the hype is the media, ESPN, TVs, and stuff we shouldn’t be looking at. I think the thing that really separates us is we always stay true to who we are. We’re going to recapture what we did last year and add a few more things to it. But the way we practice and the way we prepare gives us the right to have confidence out there on Sundays or whenever we play.

(On feelings about opening game, going against a really good team) You’re going to hear this a lot throughout this team – it’s a championship game and another opportunity to play. At the end of the season, whatever the ending result, whether the Super Bowl or whatever playoff game we’re playing in, we’re still going to be saying the same thing, this is another championship game. We’re just excited to show everybody who we are. This is on the big stage. I’m treating this game like Pop Warner. I get to play punt return and free safety. I get to play both ways. This is what I did in high school so it just feels good to be on the ultimate stage like this and have that opportunity.

(On where the defense is right now with mixing new guys) I think we’re right on track and a great football team. I think we’re a great defense and I think we’re communicating really well. We’re recognizing the formations and understanding the situations. The biggest thing right now is we know how teams want to attack us. We play a simple base defense, but at the same time we’re very, very good at what we do.

(On what sticks out about QB Aaron Rodgers when he watches him on film) The biggest thing that he does that’s so great is he’s able to create with his legs. He hitches up and scrambles maybe to his right and his receivers do a great job at keeping the play alive. So us on the other side of the ball we have to be able to plaster. We have to make sure our eyes are right. We can’t get lost in the backfield because if we do that that’s how big plays are being created. That never happens with us though, because we understand our job entitlement. Me as a middle field safety, I have to own the scenes at the post. Corners have to stay on top. With this knowledge and rules that we have, we stick to who we are and don’t stray away from it.

(On how many touchdowns he thinks he’ll have this year) I’m not putting a limit on anything. I just want to be the best and have fun. I know when I get the ball in my hand I’ll make something happen though.

(On how much faster the Packers look like they’re playing with this hurried offense) That’s it. It’s just a hurried up offense. We’re in great shape, we’re very prepared and we’ve had a lot of great opportunities in the preseason to see some teams with the no huddle offense with Denver. We’re very prepared. This isn’t anything we haven’t seen before. The game is so slow right now so nothing is too fast. It’s all about understanding QB intentions and that’s the biggest thing for me. I think even the linebackers, safeties, hooks, the weak hooks, and buzzes, if you understand how to stay tight on the string with everybody else and understand where the help is, that’s how you play fast.

(On after Super Bowl podium comment “I feel bad we’re not playing next week” and how hard it has been waiting for this upcoming game) Well the hard part about coming back is trying to get back to that same person you were at the Super Bowl. Sometimes you can kind of rush it and you get frustrated because the results are not coming back like you wanted to. But the ultimate goal is to just focus on the process. Day by day really enjoy the process, get better, and there’s so many learning experiences out here that I learn during the week as I get my heart prepared to play football. So I just love this environment, the lake, the air, everything out here, you just feel it. It’s a great environment.


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