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Through My Eyes: Justin Simmons and the anatomy of an interception

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When I first saw the ball sail, I thought I was going to be a little short. What I planned to do was get one hand up, so maybe I could tip it for Adam Jones to come get it, or the next guy in coverage to come over and get it.

But as I kept getting more depth and got my eyes back, I just was athletic enough to get up and intercept it myself.

It all worked out.

I was on the same side of the field as Adam. There’s a reason why he’s been in the league for I don’t even know how long. He just knows the game so well. And being that he was with Coach Joseph for a while in Cincinnati, he knows most of the things that we’re doing, so it’s the same terminology. So for him to come in and plug in in a week, get out there and have those snaps that he did is great. While we’re out here game-planning, he’s telling us, "Hey man, this is what we’re doing. These are the looks we get out of these, all the different situations that we get." He's been amazing, man, and he’s earned our trust big time.

It’s third-and-7, and we know the blitz is coming, so you have to just get your eyes back. The quarterback might throw you one, or he might throw something out of bounds, or he might scramble and you’ve got to come down. He saw Brandon Marshall, thought he could loft it over my head and hit that honey-hole — that window spot — so I just high-pointed the ball. It was a great play call for the play they had drawn up.

It was a tie game at that point. Obviously we’d had some turnovers, so defensively we were like, "Man, we’ve got to get the ball back for the offense no matter what it looks like. Whether that’s maybe a fourth-down stop, a turnover, an interception, a fumble recovery." We knew the Seahawks defense was getting tired and our offense was moving the ball against them.

Once I got the interception, I just kinda blacked out.

I was just excited obviously for some personal reasons but more for the team. I was just excited for the opportunity for us to take the lead and take control of the game heading into the fourth quarter.

Everyone congratulated me. Von came over and said, "Big-time play." Obviously he had a heck of a game and a big ball production day. That win wouldn’t have happened without his production. Him coming over just saying "Big-time play" meant something.

Coach Joseph, Joe Woods, Marcus Robinson, they all came up and said, "Way to execute the call" and stuff like that. But that’s what they expect. When they call something, we just gotta execute it. It was well-executed across the board. I just happened to be the one to get it.

At the end, though, we needed one more stop. We wanted to be out there. That’s what great defenses thrive on: going out there and making the big-time plays when they matter, when the game’s on the line.

We’re thankful that we were able to pin them deep in the punt game. Once we knew we had them inside their 12, we knew that if we just executed, we were going to win that game. No timeouts, a minute left, I mean that’s tough for an offense to go 90 yards down the field and score or at least get a field goal. We were just excited to kind of cement the 2018 opener. We expected to get back out there one more to get a big-time stop, and that’s what we did. In the two-minute defense, you gotta be able to stand up and get some stops.

When you win, it's excitement more than anything else. It doesn’t matter how you get the win as long as you win. You look back at last year, and you look at some of the top teams that went far in the playoffs, and some of their wins through the season, they’re not always pretty, but they found a way to win the football game.

We hit adversity, the guys battled through, and we found a way to win. That’s what’s most important.

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