12’s! I’m back and excited to head into another season with the best fans in the NFL. This city, team, and game means everything to me and my teammates; which is why we can’t wait to strap it up and get the season under way. This team is loaded with the talent, dedication, and discipline it takes to bring home a Lombardi Trophy. Now the time of year has come to put everything we’ve prepared for on the field every week to reach our goal of playing in February.
The preseason was a great opportunity for us to get all the bugs out, and allow our young guys to get their feet wet. It seems like it was yesterday when I first stepped foot on an NFL field. It is a surreal feeling to have a dream you’ve been chasing your whole life, become a reality. Seeing the smiles and excitement our rookie’s faces was a great experience for me, and something that makes me never take this game for granted. We had a lot of ups-and- downs during preseason, but it gave us a good understanding of where we were at as a unit. These deficiencies and bad habits are have been our focus this week heading into Sunday.
On the offensive side of the ball, my man Russell and his unit have been looking great heading into season. These guys are getting off the ball quickly, and are meshing well both in the run and passing game. Their speed of play is comparable to how they were mid-season last year, which is exciting to see and will only get better as the year goes on. Miami brings an aggressive defensive group to the table; which makes it important for our guys to establish a run game from the first snap. Getting this established will open throwing lanes for Russell and allow him to move the chains with his arm, both in, and outside of the pocket.
Defensively, we are clear on what needs to be established from the first whistle. Creating pressure in the back-field, playing assignment football in the middle, and blanketing receivers up top will be the key to limiting Tannehill and his physical receiving core. What I love about this defense is the talent and understanding we all bring to every play. Each one of our guys play within their own individual skill set, but has great awareness and presence to feed off of one another as the play develops. This is rare to find in a defensive group, and something that makes us special. On paper, we look like most defensive schemes, but it is our ability to adjust and think clearly in fast-developing situations that makes us a great unit. We look to set the tone from the first play, and create pressure the entire game.
I always say this, but feel like it can’t be said enough: You 12’s create the best football atmosphere in the NFL, and make this game fun to play each week. I feel blessed to call Seattle my home, and can’t wait to start another great season with you guys. It’s hard to believe that I am already entering my 6th year in the NFL. This game is something I will always be honored to play, and I am looking forward to making this year a special one in Seattle!