Super Bowl

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This week has given me a while to think about how amazing this season has been. I couldn’t be more proud of this team, and what we have been able to accomplish this year. Seattle is home to the greatest fans in the NFL, and we are excited to be in a position to potentially bring home the trophy that this city deserves!

This last two weeks has been filled with media interviews, recovery, practice, film and game plan installs. When you reach this point of the season, recovery becomes that much more important. All of us have been battling through injuries, and typical wear and tear this year. We have all been taking advantage of this extra week, to recover, and make sure our bodies are good to go for next Sunday.

Obviously, we still have a few things to clean up from the NFL Championship game. Offensively, last week has been spent tweaking a few things up front, and installing offensive game plans, to go over in New Jersey during this final week of preparation. We received some great news last week, that Percy has been cleared for the game! Having this guy healthy, adds a whole new element to our offense.

I couldn’t be more proud of the fight in our offense this year. The clutch play out of guys like Marshawn, Russell, Baldwin, Kearse, and Tate have been amazing to watch. No matter what the situation is, someone comes through and gets it done for us. That is what this entire team’s mind set is all about.

We have that, “next man up” mentality that leads to us knowing that someone is always going to come through in clutch situations and produce for this team! Our last game played was a big one for our defense. Kam, Bobby and the entire defense played unbelievable. We were able to create pressure in the back-field, flow to the ball, and blanket receivers up top. This is the type of play we need to bring to the table, against Manning and his high powered offense. Peyton is an amazing field general that is constantly changing plays on the spot, and mixing up offensive schemes. It is important that we create as much back-field pressure as possible, and bring new defensive looks that Manning has not seen before.

I know the “Fight in the Big Lights” is a few days away, but I am ready for this game! The Super Bowl, is a once in a lifetime opportunity, that you dream about playing in as a kid. To be competing in one of the greatest sporting events in the world, is truly a blessing, and I wouldn’t rather be playing in it with any other group of guys. This team, and our coaches mean so much to me. We have something very special here in Seattle, and we are looking to finish this season on the right note. I hope to see a lot of you 12’s in New York/ New Jersey. You all better dress warm, and bring the noise!

NFC Championship Game

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Let’s keep this train rolling 12s! This year has been a fun ride and has given us a chance to reach the Super Bowl. We are aware of how big this game is, but the pressure is not felt due to the fact that we treat every week like championship week. We have always believed in preparing at a high-level, and that mindset eliminates nerves and doubt. It is no secret that this week will bring a very heated rivalry, which is always expected when two talented and competitive teams square off. Both teams have fought through adversity to reach this point and neither of us want our season to end tomorrow.

As always, Russell and the offense have done a great job of preparing this week. The whole mindset of our offense going into this week has been to win the third down battles. The 49ers have a very talented linebacker core that has a reputation for flying to the ball at a fast pace. Our offensive line is locked in and understands the importance of picking up these linebackers to keep the pressure off of Russell. One big factor in converting on third downs will be maintaining a balanced passing/running attack. Marshawn has been our work horse all year long and we will look to him, and Turbin, to hammer the ball between tackles and keep the chains moving for us.

Our defensive mindset for this week is simple; shut everything down! The 49ers are a talented team with athletic receivers that work well in space. We have to do a great job of being physical with these receivers and making them work for every ball thrown. Our defense has taken pride in our ability to play physical and swarm to the ball. We will need to maintain an up tempo pursuit, and create pressure in the back-field in order to make big plays.

To be the best, you have to beat the best. I believe that both teams are in this game because we have proven ourselves as the best in our conference. A trip to the Super Bowl isn’t going to be handed to anyone who doesn’t work for it. We need to get out there and play sound football from the first snap. I hope you 12s are ready, because everything we have worked for this year will be put on the line tomorrow! 

Tomorrow’s Game Against the Saints

Alright 12s, this is what we’ve been waiting for all year. We are in a position to achieve something special here in Seattle and it all starts tomorrow. We have plenty of frustrations from last year’s Playoff game against the Falcons, and we’ve prepared all week with these memories in mind to ensure that we never have that feeling again. Although the Playoffs present a bigger stage than the regular season, we are not treating it any different because we have always maintained a 1-0 mentality. This is going to be a dogfight that we are ready to welcome into Seattle.

Our offense has done a great job of preparing and are ready to get after the Saints’ defense. The playoffs provide a stage for players to come through in the clutch, and I believe this is what Russell is prepared to do. In just two years, Russell has developed a veteran perception about himself that everyone on the team buys into. His ability to remain calm in pressure situations is what makes him an elite quarterback. In addition to Russell’s leadership, we will also rely on the clutch play that has been provided all year by Marshawn and our receiving corps. Our balanced offensive attack is what we’ll bring to the table to mix-up the looks on the Saints.

On the other side of the ball, we are keeping the same mentality of playing hungry! Every one of us has a chip on our shoulder and are eager to prove that we’re an elite group. Everyone on this defense is playing for the man next to him. As a tight-knit group, we take it personal when we let each other down. The constant pressure on Drew was a large key to our success last time we faced the Saints, and that is the kind of pressure we are looking to create again tomorrow. Brees is one of the best in the league because of his ability to extend plays with his legs in order to deliver the ball through tight windows. Playing against an elite quarterback is a challenge that we always look forward to. The key to eliminating Drew’s big play capabilities lies in containing the edge and maintaining blanket coverage up top. This has been our style of play all year and we plan on bringing it to the table tomorrow!

This season has been a ride that I don’t want to end. Seattle is a special city with extraordinary fans who make this game fun to play.  Tomorrow sets the stage for what we have been working toward all year. Every hour of every day has been spent preparing for this moment. We are looking for you 12s to bring the noise and help us get after it!

Playoff Ready

Winning the NFC West was a great achievement, but we’re not done yet! I couldn’t be more proud of my boys, and you 12s, for the amazing year we have had thus far. Seattle is truly a special place with remarkable fans who make this game fun to play! It has been a long road traveled and we have left ourselves in a position to do something amazing.

This week gives our team the opportunity to let our bodies heal and improve weaknesses in our technique. We’ve had two very productive practices with Thursday being one of the most productive practices we have had all year! This was in large part due to the first-team offense going up against the first-team defense which always brings a higher level of intensity to the table. The thing I love the most about this team is that every player is so competitive. We never ease up on each other whether it be trash talking or hard hitting on the field.

Thursday’s practice brought another exciting element in the return of Percy Harvin. It was great to see him return to the field and be a part of practice again. Percy is an amazing football player who brings game changing speed and big play capabilities to the table. He has had his ups and downs this year and I am proud of the way he has handled it all. Adding Percy into the mix next week will add a powerful dynamic to our offense. We are excited to see how he progresses over the next week, and hope he can join us on the field next Saturday!

On the defensive side of the ball, we are catching our stride at the right time of the season. The combination of selfless playing and trusting each other is what makes this defense so special. There are many things that our defensive unit has learned about one another throughout the season. Our successful style of play this year has been a result of everyone learning one another’s tendencies and playing with those in mind.

This weekend’s matchups will be exciting to watch. We know that San Francisco, New Orleans, and Green Bay are the 3 potential opponents we may face next Saturday. This weekend provides us with the opportunity to watch each of these teams and break down their tendencies. Regardless of who we face, we need to be fundamentally sound going into the game. We are doing everything we can to stay football minded this week, and look forward to preparing for our first Playoff opponent.

I hope all of you 12s had a happy New Year and enjoy the games this weekend. We can’t thank you enough for your tremendous support week in and week out. You are the reason CenturyLink has the reputation as one of the toughest football environments to play in and we are truly appreciative of you! We are 2 opponents away from reaching the stage that every team has set out to reach this year. We are looking forward to finishing the rest of this journey, and working hard to come out on top!

Week 17 vs. Saint Louis

I want to start this blog by saying that I hope everyone had a happy holiday! The main focus this week has been on learning from our mistakes and moving on. We made some uncharacteristic plays last week and didn’t take advantage of a few opportunities, which ended up being the difference in the game. This is how things go in this league. We are constantly facing great teams and things aren’t always going to go our way. All we can do is shake it off and prepare to go 1-0 the following week. As usual, you 12’s were outstanding! We will need all of you to bring the noise to CenturyLink again tomorrow as we take on a very talented Rams team.

Our offense has done a great job of preparing this week. Obviously, there were a few things that didn’t go their way last Sunday, but that’s football. They have done a great job of focusing on what they can control, and that’s making sure the same mistakes aren’t made tomorrow. So far, we have heard good news regarding Okung and Sweezy for this week’s game. The main importance for our offense this week will be pocket protection. Robert Quinn and Michael Brockers are two of the most talented defensive lineman in the league. They are notorious for creating backfield pressure and collapsing pockets. It is important that the offensive line communicates well and gives Russell enough time to progress through his reads.

Defensively, we are continuing to focus on playing against the ball. St. Louis is not a team that anyone can take lightly. Kellen Clemens has done a great job providing a strong leadership presence for his young Rams team. As a veteran in the Rams system, Kellen is very comfortable in their offensive packages. As a unit, we need to disrupt Clemens’ comfort and force him into making uncharacteristic decisions. This has been a major strength for this defense all year and we look to play to it tomorrow.

This time of year creates an amazing atmosphere and provides a lot of teams with the opportunity to continue to play for something. This team has remained hungry for this moment all year and we will get after it tomorrow. We have been blessed with a great coaching staff and fans who have supported us through everything. We are going to need everyone to bring the noise and help us compete to bring an NFC West Championship to Seattle!

Up Against the Cardinals

Alright 12’s – we are getting down to the 4th quarter of the season and we couldn’t be more locked in! As a unit, we understand the significance of this game, but that doesn’t affect how we prepare. This team treats every week like championship week and that’s the mentality we strive to maintain. The Cardinals are a very explosive team that has a lot to play for. They are going to bring energy to CenturyLink Field tomorrow and we’re preparing for this battle!

I believe the word “consistent” is very fitting for our offense. This group brings a balanced attack to the field each week which is really fun to watch! It all starts with our offensive leader, Mr. Consistency himself, Russell Wilson. Russell is constantly working toward being the most consistent player he can be and it’s rubbed off on everyone. He is a true believer that the difference in separation, is in the preparation. Everyone in this league is talented, but it is the preparation each week that separates one player from another. There are two types of players in this league, those who know and those who don’t. This is a mindset that our entire team has bought into. We want to be the smartest and most fundamental team in the league. We get after each practice as if it were a game! These daily battles are what has both sides of the ball prepared to play at a high-level each week. This consistent play is going to be very important tomorrow as our offense is going up against a very talented Arizona front 7. Russell and the offensive line will need to do a good job of picking up blitzes and keeping them out of the backfield.

We played a great game defensively last week but there is definitely more room for improvement. We are finally starting to play up to our potential in all 3 levels of our defense, which in large part is due to our coaches. They do a great job of developing each one of us into the player they know we can be. As we reach the tail end of the regular season and head into the playoffs, it is important that we continue to improve as a unit.

Arizona is playing very well on the offensive side of the ball. Carson Palmer is a great decision maker that is having what is arguably one of the best seasons of his career. In addition to Carson, the Cardinals have a very talented receiving corps led by Fitzgerald and Floyd who are both approaching 1,000 reception yards this year. This is something that is not easy to achieve in this league – especially two receivers playing on the same team. In order to eliminate the big plays, it is important that we maintain physical play on the receivers and generate backfield penetration to rush Carson’s read progressions. As always, I am excited to go up against Larry tomorrow. Fitz has established himself as one of the best receivers to ever play this game and has the respect of every player in the league! He is a very talented receiver that always makes for a fun battle on the field!

I am looking forward to getting after it in front of you 12’s again this weekend! You guys have made this season a blast for all of us! This weekend represents an opportunity to attain one of our major goals this season, and we’re working to achieving it! We all we got, we all we need!

This Weekend’s Game vs. the Giants

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We are excited to be in the Big Apple this week and have the opportunity to get back on track. Last week’s loss showed us that we have a few things to fix, but it hasn’t changed our mentality or way we approach the game. We are continuing to maintain a 1-0 mentality and focusing on each game at hand.

Our offense has had a great week of practice and are prepared for tomorrow’s game. The Giants have a very talented defense that is playing at a high-level, so our offense will focus on maintaining a balanced attack in order to mix looks. In this league, a balanced attack is very important and plays a huge factor in an offense’s ability to move the ball effectively.

Balanced attacks help offensive schemes feed off one another. If the coverage is blanketing receivers and hindering the ability to throw the ball, an offense may need to rely on pounding the ground game to open passing windows back up. The same goes for the ground game. This league is loaded with talented players up front. Running the ball effectively is something that is very hard to do. An effective passing game plays a large role in opening up running lanes for the backs. A balanced attack is what makes our offense so successful and is what we’ll bring to MetLife Stadium tomorrow.

Defensively, we have focused on increasing communication and maintaining our next-man-up mentality. Obviously, you hate to see a great player and leader, like KJ Wright, go down. He was a big part of our front seven and our ability to create pressure in the backfield. Even with KJ out, we still have a very talented player to fill in. Malcolm Smith is an amazing talent and has always been a crucial part of this football team. Malcolm brings a great deal of versatility to the table with his blitz and pass-rush capabilities.

As a defensive unit, we are excited to go up against Eli and his talented receiving corps. Eli has established himself as one of the best in the game and has an explosive receiving corps to distribute to. He has great chemistry with his receivers – knowing when and where to throw the ball in relation to their routes. Communication will be a key component in eliminating big plays both on the ground and through the air.

I am excited to lace it up and take on the Giants tomorrow. MetLife is known for the loud intense environment that it creates. The great part about you 12’s is that you guys will travel to support us – no matter how far away from home we are. I know I always say this but you guys truly are the best fans in the NFL. I hope to see some of you out here bringing the noise tomorrow!

My Thoughts Going Against the 49ers this Week

You 12’s continue to impress! The environment you created on Monday night was unreal! The Saints game was a huge step forward for this team, and got us one game closer to our goal of winning the NFC West. Winning our division was something we set out to do at the beginning of the year, and our game against the 49ers presents another opportunity to progress toward that goal. We are continuing to treat each week like championship week. Coach Carroll does an amazing job of creating a competitive environment for us at practice. The way that we prepare in practice is what has us continually improving and playing at a high level.

Russell and the offense have established themselves as an elite group. They have done a great job of finding ways to progress each week. When comparing the Russell from the beginning of the season to now, it is safe to say he has drastically improved as a player and a general of this team. His ability to make protection calls, progress through reads, and anticipate throwing windows is what makes him such an elite player.

In addition to Russell and Marshawn, I couldn’t be more impressed with our receivers. Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Golden Tate, and Ricardo Lockett have all stepped-up huge for this team. They have developed their skills and have grown to be one of the best receiving cores in the league. Some of the catches these guys make leave me in awe. It’s guys like this that you’re happy to have on your team, and make you glad you don’t have to line up against them on Sundays!

Defensively, we continue to prepare the way we always have. We’ve been hitting the film room to find ways to improve. We realize the type of talent we’re going against tomorrow. It is our job to focus on ways to shutdown tendencies to disrupt their offensive rhythm, and that is what we intend to do! The 49ers are loaded with talented players in Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick, and Frank Gore that are all capable of big plays. We need to be on point with our communication and make sure we flow to the ball and secure tackles. I am excited to go up against some of these elite receivers. Like I mentioned in my other blogs, matchups like these are the reason I love playing this game!

This Sunday will be a big challenge in a very tough environment. The 49ers are playing at a high-level and are going to be geared up for this game. We are excited to hit the road and head into the great environment that Candlestick creates. I hope you 12’s are ready to bring the noise and get after it!

Preparing for Monday’s Game

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Back to the gridiron this week, 12’s! I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving and are ready for some Seahawk football. I couldn’t be happier with the placement of our bye week this year. Having it this late in the season allows us to rest our bodies and get back to 100% before we head into the final regular season stretch before playoffs. This off week has everyone well rested and ready to finish strong. I hope you 12’s are just as excited as I am for this Monday’s matchup! This couldn’t have been drawn up more perfectly this late in the season. The Saints are arguably one of the most high-powered teams in the NFC and well… we have a pretty notable reputation in the NFC as well. It is safe to say that this is the game that both teams have been waiting for!

Russell and the offense are playing very good football. The front line has continually improved each game, and have been playing their best football at the most important time of the season! Last week’s edge protection was the best I’ve seen it all year! This allowed Russell to have a lot more time in the pocket to progress through his reads. With the improved pocket time, and the addition of Percy to our receiving core, our offense is shaping up to produce even bigger numbers in games to come!

Our defensive play has continually gotten better as well. I think this is largely due to our defensive front! Red, Tony, Brandon and Chris have all done a great job of getting into the right spots and being more aggressive with their splits. They have all done a great job of penetrating the line of scrimmage and creating pressure in the backfield. This increased pressure has caused a lot of rushed throws that us DB’s are benefiting from – let’s just say that I’m not complaining!

As far as our defensive matchup, we need to be on point against Brees and this strong offense on Monday night. We have continued to improve our coverage, and blanketing receivers. It is important that we maintain this coverage and decrease passing windows for Drew to throw through. This is a challenge that we are always up for! We are excited to go up against a great receiving core and a very talented quarterback. We have always taken pride in winning the battle against talented players. To be the best, you have to beat the best and we are preparing for our chance to do that on Monday.

I am excited to take the main stage on Monday night and play against such a talented team. These types of games are the reason I play this amazing game! I hope you 12’s are ready to bring the noise and intensity to CenturyLink Field Monday night. You guys have been a huge factor in our games this year, and I look forward to playing in front of you on Monday. Seattle has established itself as the true meaning for home team advantage, and us players can’t thank you enough. I look forward to Monday’s game and the opportunity to go out and prove ourselves as an elite NFC team.

 

Bye Week

Hello everyone. We obviously don’t have a game this week, but I thought it would be cool to fill you guys in on what I did during my bye week. In this blog, I will take you through my schedule and everything I have been doing over the past few days! One thing I feel like fans don’t get to experience, is what athletes do off the field. This blog will take you inside my life and give you a taste of the different things I do when I’m not competing on the field!

My week started off with a flight into L.A. to appear on the set of Sports Nation on Thursday. It was a blast to mic up and go on set with Marcellus Wiley and John Cena for their 12:00 pm show! Marcellus and John are two hilarious dudes who made it a lot of fun chopping up film segments and discussing trending sports topics. I really enjoyed the experience and getting to tour the L.A. ESPN headquarters. Although it doesn’t come close to the size of the Bristol, CT headquarters, it still had a lot of working parts with SportsNation and SportsCenter being ran through there.

After we finished up at ESPN, it was off to lunch to discuss the details for my XBOX One appearance that night. We had some time to kill, so we decided to eat by the mall in Beverly Hills then hit up some stores! I’ve always considered myself a tight wad with my money but today I was in a spending mood! I spent a majority of the afternoon checking out all the stores with my brother Branton and my cousin JMo. I am a huge fan of Creative Recreation jeans, so I had to grab me a new pair to rock at the event that night.

The XBOX One event took place at Milk Studios in downtown L.A. They had the place packed out with XBOX consoles, TV’s, and of course… celebrities. DJ Idris was in attendance, and provided some great tunes for everyone. After talking with Chuck Liddell about some UFC moves and hanging with Hank Baskett and Mckay Pfeiffer, I was able to get down and hit the gaming floor! I spent a majority of my time playing the new Battle Field game. The graphics and online gaming experience were awesome, and I loved the headphones they provided to enhance the game play! I got to tell you folks, although I am a huge fan of first person shooter games, my heart still lies with Assassin’s Creed and Grand Theft Auto! As a gamer, I really enjoy games that let me do whatever I want and Assassin’s Creed and GTA give me the pleasure of doing that!

After the XBOX event, it was off to the hotel to pack for my flight to San Francisco on Friday morning. As a Stanford alum – I am always supporting the Cardinal football team whenever I can. I took the opportunity to head up to Berkeley and catch their game against Cal on Saturday. It’s always a good time hanging out with Stanford fans and watching my Alma Mater play. I couldn’t be more proud of Stanford and what they were able to accomplish this year. With their win yesterday, they have officially taken over first place in the Pac 12 North!

Once the game was over, it was time to head back to the airport to catch a flight down to LA for a Fox Sports NFL Sunday appearance! This is an appearance that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. It is always a good time when you go on set with NFL greats and discuss matchups and other football topics. Terry, Howie, and the whole NFL Sunday crew keep the conversation fun and very comical. These guys all have great personalities and do a great job of breaking down games. I don’t want to brag, but I feel as if I was able to hold my own!

The Fox appearance is concluded, and I am sitting here on my flight home – putting this blog together for all of you! As a professional athlete, I am blessed to be able to do a lot of cool things. One thing I will never do, is take any of this for granted. I am very fortunate to play for a great NFL team and be surrounded by the best fans in the league! You guys have made every minute of my career a blast! I hope all of you enjoyed this blog. I thought I would change it up a bit this week! Until next time 12’s!