Here's some of what Earl Thomas said today:
(on his and Cornerback Richard Sherman's consideration for Defensive Player of The Year) "I think being on the same team might hurt us a little bit. But at the same time, what a way to do it. The central theme is competition, and it is crazy that two guys on the same defense are even up for this award. It's just a blessing."
(on the secret to his success) "Every day I’m the same person. I'm always trying to paint that beautiful masterpiece. Like today, I have another great opportunity. I want to put something together that I'm proud of, that I'm excited for and that I can build on."
(on why Texas is so good at producing safeties) "I don't know. I think Texas, in general, has great football. A lot of guys from California think their place is better, but I don't think so. Texas is just as great of a football state."
(on preparing for Denver Quarterback Peyton Manning) "It wasn't really hard for me, just because I never really put that much emphasis on the opponent. I make sure that my game is right first, and then I'm ready to play."
(on getting back to the routine) "I'm really excited about that. That's the most exciting part about it, just getting back to the routine and normal. Of course you enjoy all the media and everything else that comes with the Super Bowl, but I'm just excited to get back to the basics, work my fundamentals and just get prepared to have a hell of a game."
(on running back Marshawn Lynch being misunderstood) "He's definitely misunderstood. You just kind of understand why some people are mad because that's their job. At the same time, he has a lot on his plate also. And he understands. Marshawn's a great guy and there's a reason for everything with him. I never question Marshawn or his motives."
(on the secondary's role in creating sacks) "Definitely, and that's the biggest thing. We can face as many great quarterbacks in the world as possible but the receivers and stuff still have to get open. The quarterback can't just make magic happen and all the sudden the ball appear. The receivers still have to get open. The running backs still have to make the yards. We're excited for that challenge and that's what we're all about."
(on Manning) "He does a lot of stuff. He gets the ball out quick. That's why they're so successful. A lot of passes in the flats. You just got to understand how the offense wants to attack you, and we do a great job of that."
(on his relationship with Safety Kam Chancellor) "My relationship with Kam is just like the relationship with everybody in this secondary. It's very close. Family. We talk a lot. I think the biggest thing that we do best is open everything to each other. That's why we're so connected and that's why that respect factor is there. And that's why we play at such a high level."
(on his ability to excel in coverage and run support) "That just goes back to what I always say, not putting me in a box and just labeling me as a guy that can just finesse and can cover. I really take pride as far as coming up in run support, eliminate the explosive plays and really giving my team every opportunity as far as points allowed, deep shots. In the NFL, everybody always wants to take deep shots. The crowd wants to see the explosive plays, but what's so unique about us is we understand that. We always try to take care of that and get the ball back in Russell's (Wilson) hands as much as possible."
(on how different he and Sherman are off the field) "Off the field, I just think the biggest difference between me and Sherm is he's very outspoken. I'm kind of getting there, but I don't want to be that outspoken. It's a give a stake. But I think as far as football and the mindset, it's not too much of a difference."
(on the safeties' role in Seattle's defense) "In this defense, I think me and Kam (Chancellor) do a lot. Sometimes dirty work, sometimes a lot of game-changing plays. Everybody on the defense understands that. That's why this defense is so compatible with each other. It's selfless guys. We're going to put everything on the line for each other. Love is the highest frequency we have and we understand that, and that's what it's all about. When you're filled up with gratitude, it's a genuine appreciation for everybody around you. That's the way I love it."
(on handling a receiving group as deep as Denver's) "We have a lot of good DBs here. We're deep also. We understand what they're capable of, but that's why we play the games. We're very excited to prove who we are every time we step out (on the field). This is just a great opportunity, especially on this stage, to show what we're all about."
(on why teams passed up on him in the draft) "Well, I was 20 years old at the time. I guess it was a lot of issues with me being quiet and I was 20, I was too young. When you add into it the size factor - I'm 5-10 - all those factors kind of go up against me. When I had my visits, they said I was too quiet. But they didn't understand when I'm on the football field, I'm a totally different person than just off the field. I turn into the most talkative person ever on the football field, just because I communicate well."
(on what his mindset will be heading into this game) "First of all, I play from a good place. I'm always just happy for the opportunity, so I'm going to be fired up. I'm going to be excited. I'm going to be ready to show the world about me, individually, and be the best teammate while I'm doing it. It's going to be fun on this stage. You dream about it. I'm excited, man. Big plays to come."
(on what is troubling about Denver running the “pick play” so well) “It doesn’t trouble me. You just understand how they want to do it. That’s it. And then, you’re ready for it. That’s why the whole week of preparation is so critical just to get all the kinks and stuff out of the way and get your game plan ready.”
(on embracing the chance to face Denver) “We embrace the chance just to still be playing football, especially with great competitors like Peyton Manning behind center. As a competitor, you always want to face the best. You never want to take the easy road. This is a prime example of us proving who we are once again.”
(on the origins and meaning of the “Legion of Boom”) “Well, it just came out of nowhere really. It just happened naturally. Just a group of guys that just want to be the best and want to change everything about the perception of defensive players getting scored on and eliminating explosive plays, and having fun while you do it.”
(on how he’d compare the Denver receivers to other groups in the league) “Obviously, they’re the best. They’re the last man standing, so right now they’re the best. Nobody else is here.”
(on whether the Denver receivers would be this good with a different quarterback) “Well, you can’t say what-ifs in this league. It is what it is. Peyton is their quarterback and obviously they have a good chemistry. They’re a good receiving corps.”
(on when it clicked that he could play sideline-to-sideline) “Well, I always knew I could get sideline-to-sideline from my rookie year. It was just the simple fact of me harnessing all that speed and kind of not overplaying everything, really locking in on the mental side of football, and that’s what’s really separating me right now.”
(on when he realized he could start baiting quarterbacks) “Just understanding what type of defense we’re in. That’s the biggest part that I had to understand. In college, the quarterbacks are so easy to read. That was the biggest jump from the college level to the NFL level. When I got to the NFL level, they knew I was very aggressive, so they started pumping me and trying to move me. But now I’m very aware of that, so I just worked on that during the summer and I got a lot better.”