Super Bowl XLVIII: Earl Thomas media session transcript, 1/26/14

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

(on the feeling of being part of the Super Bowl) "It's a great feeling, great atmosphere. Obviously, when I got off the plane, I was in shock. I saw all the fans and the police and the fire department out there and just the excitement of the fans back home. They showed us out today. The young kids, you saw them. As a player and competitor, you love to see a little one-year-old in your jersey. You just feed off of that because they all look up to you. It's just a great time to show, especially when God put you on a platform like this."

(on if any games he has played in have come close to this magnitude) "I always go back, and I've been playing football for a long time. The only experience I had like this was the National Championship. I try to go back and see what kind of got me out of whack because it's not normal. It's not your normal routine. You got all the media and the cameras and the extra stuff you have to deal with. But, obviously I learned a lot from that experience, and I'm going to definitely apply it to this experience."

(on how he would respond to people who question the Seattle's experience) "Football is always football at the end of the day. We're just excited to show who we are. This is a great stage; this is a great setting. It's just us. Everybody's gets to watch us. And I always like our chances, especially on this type of stage."

(on where the team goes from here) "I think most people, when the work is almost finished, they kind of spoil it. They kind of feel it in their grasp, and they kind of ease up, but we understand that we can't ease up. We stay all the way through. We're not going to let anything get in our way as far as off-the-field distractions. We're very confident in our preparation. I think that's what really separates us from everybody else is the way we prepare."

(on what Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn has been telling the defense) "The same message he's been telling us since Week 1 - fast and physical, run and hit. We have a big board that everybody signed off - the whole defense - basically saying that we're going to run and hit. And you saw Kam Chancellor - I think he's doing a great job of elevating every time he steps on the grass. I'm very exited for guys like that because they keep getting better. I'm just a fan; I'm excited to see what they're going to do next."

(on Denver QB Peyton Manning) "He's a great quarterback. He's seen a lot of football. He's been in this league a long time. That's the reason he's had so much success and he has the Papa John's commercials and all that. We understand what he's capable of. That's the great thing about preparation is how aware of all the little details as far as the situations, fourth down, red zone, fringe area, minus territory - all those come into factor when you talk about playing a guy like that."

(on if he has thought about making the game-winning play) "Especially in this type of moment, I just want to own my role and be the best free safety and communicator. You definitely have to get back to the fundamentals and the basics, especially in this time of the season. You see a lot of guys that aren't tackling as well; they're not doing as well as they started. That's what it's all about - sticking to your core beliefs, sticking to who you are, and everything else will take care of itself."

(on the secondary coming together) "One of my goals this season was just to be the best teammate possible and just to try to elevate everybody around me just by being the best communicator and pure leading - doing it every day, being the same guy, the focus and attention to detail. People see that, and they feed off it. But it's obvious that we're way ahead of where we were last year when we lost to Atlanta. The heartache and the adverse situation that happened in Atlanta - we learned from it, and it's been carrying us the whole season."

(on if he has talked to anyone who has played in a Super Bowl before to get any tips) "No, I've been in my own little bubble. I trust myself. I don't want anyone to kind of mess with my mentality, my mental game. I just stay to myself and enjoy the moment. The quarterback and the offense can only do so much. In that preseason game that we played them, I'm glad that we had that experience. It's going to be good."

(on the coldest game he's ever played in) "I don't know. I still treat this game like Pop Warner. Little kids love to play in the mud and the snow. That's just how I am. I don't care."

(on what makes Denver CB Champ Bailey a special player) "The longevity that he's brought to this game. I had him on my MySpace page when I was in high school in maybe tenth grade. This guy has been doing it for a long time, and it's been a humbling experience to see a guy who's been in this league 15 years, and this is his only opportunity to play in the Super Bowl. So, me being a young guy, I'm really grateful, and I'm filled with a bunch of gratitude just for this opportunity."

(on if the cold makes the game harder) "It's difficult whether it's cold or hot, snow, rain. Football is challenging, and that's why you've got to stay in it the whole game and really pay attention to what type of situation it is - personnel, matchups and all of that."

(on what challenges Denver's receiving corps presents) "Just their whole attack in general. It's a lot of play action, deep, developing routes, especially if they get their running game going. So, I think it's very important we make them one dimensional."

(on the value of having defenders who played offense previously) "I think it's just the feel - everything is feel. When you're in the game, and you're feeling what the offense is doing, I think you're at your best, especially when you've been in those situations, running routes, playing running back. You can kind of guess what they're doing - not guess, but kind of feel it. I think that's the biggest difference with our (defensive backs) - we can catch, we can hit, we can run, we can tackle, and obviously, the catching ability from playing offense in high school and Pop Warner."

(on the team's fans) "They never cease to surprise me because even if we lose, it could be four in the morning when we get back, and they're still like little kids out there, going crazy shaking the bus like we just won. That's what I love about our fans. Whether we win, lose or draw, they're always going to be on our side. We're both very unique in how loud they are and how much we enjoy the game and how passionate we are about it, and it always shows."

(on if he has reached out to anybody for advice this week) "Not really. I bumped into Lawyer Milloy. He's still in the Seattle area, and we always talk. Just finish the job. He trusts, he's been in this situation, (and) he knows the feel of the dream-like feel and the in-the-zone feel. And just taking advantage of every opportunity and enjoying the moment."

(on if he sees a path for himself similar to Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu) "You always look at guys who have had success in this league, and those guys were definitely the best at their position, and they have championships under their belt. So, definitely when my legacy is done, I want some championships. This is a great opportunity I want to cash in and take advantage of."

(on Denver's pre-snap audibles) "A lot of that stuff is obviously for them. I'm not going to be a genie back there and try to guess what he's doing. It's all about principles. We have principles in our defense, and if we follow them to a ‘T' based on what they're trying to do, I think we'll be fine."

(on the impact of Seattle CB Walter Thurmond) "There are really no weaknesses in our defense. That's just the great draft ability that we have. We have guys that could be starters anywhere else. Walter understands how important he is to this game, and he's ready for the challenge. He's been practicing great."

(on if the defensive line can win the game for Seattle) "It's going to take everybody. It's not about one particular person. It's not about one position group. It's about team."

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