*Editor's Note: This Q&A story ran in the Dec. 2 Gameday program, when the Broncos hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --
How much have you improved from your rookie year to 2012?
“I’m playing better than I ever did. I’m playing so fast, man, I see something and I go. I don’t waste any time. I just trust my instincts and I do what I do best. The film study I’m putting in is paying off. It’s showing that hard work is paying off. From me waking up early in the morning, watching film before meetings start, up early, up late. I thank God for the process so far. I can’t do it without my teammates because they help me out and make me feel comfortable.”
Are you understanding the game on a higher level?
“Once you see things more than twice, either you comprehend it or you don’t. This year, (cornerback) Tracy (Porter) and I, earlier in the season we put in film from the beginning and we’re still doing it now. We have it all engrained in our mind from watching film. That’s what this game is about.”
In what ways has Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio helped you?
“I think he has really saved my career, to be honest with you. He gave me a chance and it was a fair chance. We all competed for the job and the best man stood. He helped me out so much. He’s always on me. He holds us accountable. He has seen me put the work in visually – in the weight room, on the field, putting in extra work. That’s what a coach wants to see. I thank him for giving me an opportunity because you never know what direction you’re going to head sometimes. I thank God for him. He is the perfect guy for this job.”
What type of chemistry does the secondary have on the field?
“The funny thing about it is, me and (cornerback) Chris (Harris) watch film before the games and so on when the first series comes, and throughout the game, we’re like, ‘Hey, remember that play we saw all week? It’s right here!’ And then we go out there and execute. All we’re doing is playing fast. We’re on one page.”
Have you made it a priority to get more involved in the run defense and become a better tackler?
“I’ve missed tackles this year. I missed some last year, and I made some. This year, I’m making more plays – on the ball, tackles for losses, fitting the run up -- just overall, man coverage, everything. Every snap, I’m just trying to make a play. That’s what the game is all about.”
How did your first full offseason help elevate your game?
“This year, I am able to do more. Last year, I was kind of vanilla. There wasn’t much to do because we had a short period of time to really be creative with things. Now, this year, we’re more creative, so I’m more creative. This is what I do. When I go out there on the football field, I always tell myself I’m going to show them that this is the guy they drafted. The film doesn’t lie.”
In the beginning of the year, you almost came away with a few interceptions, then finally got one against Carolina in Week 10. Is it encouraging knowing you’ve been in the right spots?
“I’ve dropped like five. I was right there. A lot of them were in my hands, and it shows me I’m close. It’s not over. I’m going to finish strong, for sure. I make sure whenever I see anything, any tackles I can make, any forced fumbles or tackles for loss, I’m right there. I don’t think twice. I just go.”
What do you hope to accomplish before you leave the NFL?
“To be honest with you, my goal – I have a lot of work to do – but I want to be the best safety to ever do it. That’s my goal and that’s why I strive to work harder every day. I want to be the best ever. I have a lot of hard work to put in. I have to do it year in and year out, and I still have to keep putting it down every week, putting good stuff on film. That’s my ultimate goal. I’m not here to be average. When it’s all said and done, I want to be a great one to come out of Denver Broncos history.”