Earlier in the offseason, cornerback Jason Verrett proclaimed the approach of the defensive backs for the 2016 season: to play with a hunter's mentality.
Cue Friday night's 19-3 victory over the Arizona Cardinals and it was evident that their approach, that "attitude" as Head Coach Mike McCoy deemed, shone through.
"We were all hunting out there as you could see," Verrett said. "We had a lot of turnovers (and) a lot of plays on the ball so we were definitely out there hunting."
When the first-team defense was on the field, it was apparent there was one mission: fly to the ball. Verrett and fellow cornerback Casey Hayward had huge pass breakups with number 22 almost inking an interception on another play. However, two defensive backs did secure INTs: Brandon Flowers and Jahleel Addae.
"It started early and it only takes one play," mentioned Hayward. "One person makes a play on the ball, and it just becomes contagious. Flowers made a play early, I made a play early, Jason made a play early (and) Jahleel made a play early. Everybody was flying around and you could tell that we were enjoying each other. We were happy for each other."
In the Cardinals' second offensive series, Carson Palmer dropped back and lobbed a short pass in the direction of Jaron Brown. Brandon Flowers immediately read Palmer and tipped the pass into his own arms; a catch the Cardinals quarterback deemed "pretty great". From that point forward, number 24 ran 25 yards into the end zone for a pick six, the only touchdown of the game.
"I thought (Palmer) was going to hand it off," Flowers described. "I was just trying to make a play on the ball (and) had to react quickly. Once it hit my hands I had to make sure I brought it in."
Addae's interception was his first in an NFL game. As the Cardinals were inching closer to midfield, Addae picked off an overthrown pass from Drew Stanton and returned the ball an impressive 61 yards. The pick proved beneficial for the Bolts as four plays later, it turned into three points for the home team.
"They say (interceptions) come in bunches, so I'm praying that more come. I told my coaches congratulations. I said, 'Coach, I need some in a real game though.' I mean, it was great to get my hands on the ball and finally get a turnover for the team."
While hunters actively seek prey, they also travel in packs. Part of what is keeping this unit fierce is their ability to play together as one. With their showing on Friday night, it's clear this is a hungry group that's also refreshingly selfless.
"They are very unselfish…in the secondary," McCoy added. "You see it on the sidelines and hear it when the younger guys are in the game in the fourth quarter, you still have all those guys that were playing in the first quarter, they are just as excited as they were starting the game in the first quarter. So they are one back there and that is what I really love."
"(The unselfishness) just shows how we want to hunt," Verrett added. "Everybody wants to get that play; everyone wants to make that play. Even when we got to the sideline (we were) cheering on Flowers and cheering on Addae, but I'm hot I missed mine! That is just the chemistry we got going on. Everybody wants to make plays."