To help 12s learn more about some of their favorite Seahawk players, we caught up with Seahawks safety Ryan Neal and asked him 12 questions. Check out his answers below. 'Get to Know the Seahawks' is presented by Delta. Ryan Johnston
His goals for this season revolve around being a playmaker.
"My goal is to solidify myself, kind of stamp what I did last year but take it up a notch this year. Whenever I get my chance to go out there and make plays, make them. Let them know 'Hey, I make plays.' When you put me in, special teams, defense, whatever the case may be, make plays. I want to be healthy and help my team win."
Grinding it out on the practice squad helped him develop into the player he is today.
"The coolest part is going from the practice squad, bottom of the depth chart and really having to grind it out to now. You're a piece. You're a piece of what's going on and it feels good seeing your name at the top of the depth chart on special teams. Before it was scratching and clawing and it's still that mentality but it's better now. It kind of puts me at ease with that, I love it. I can tell that I'm loved here. The coaches love me, my teammates love me, and I appreciate that the most. It's the best thing for me."
His gameday routine is full of rest and relaxation.
"It all depends. If we're playing night games, I wake up and take a shower and try to eat a big breakfast and eat as much as I can early in the day. Then I go to my room and probably watch a couple highlights of my favorite players to get my mind ready for what I want to do and what I want to emulate. I use Normatec boots and lay down, calm my mind and I don't really listen to music because I don't want to get amped up too early. I try to not listen to music, keep it silent and watch TV. I talk to my brother Mike a little bit before the game to check in and chat. When it comes time for the game, that's when the music comes on and when the pre-workout starts flowing and it's time to go, but during the day I try to keep it calm."
He takes his pre-workout well before the start of a game.
"Yeah, because for me, I get anxious so the earlier I take it, I get that in and out 'Ahh!' and by the time we go out and play I'm settled down and focused. You ramp it up and it's crazy and it wears off. By the time I step on the field I'm focused."
His defining moment was last year against the Cowboys.
"Definitely the Dallas game. That (game-ending) interception, that really was everything. The funny thing is that when we played that game, I got close to a ball on kickoff, and the guys said, 'You've got to get that one.' And for some reason I said, 'What's nice comes twice.' I grew up with people saying that all the time. I almost touched it the first time and then the next thing you know I'm on the sidelines, see Jamal (Adams) hurting, and I thought there is no way this is happening right now, there's no way. But I was out there, and it came down to that play and I see Benson (Mayowa) wrapping him up, I'm celebrating. I was in the back jumping up and down. I ran back, he threw it up there and I jumped up and made the play. That was probably my favorite thing ever. It was kind of a breakthrough moment and a sigh of relief."
He has a favorite game from each level of his career.
"State semi-final in high school, that was a crazy game and we lost by three, it broke my heart, but I ended up making plays in that one. I caught a pick, big hits everywhere. College it would definitely be against Southeast Missouri State. I had a fumble recovery, interception, and about seven tackles so that was another favorite. In the league, my favorite game was against Miami. It was one of those games that I was playing fast, everything made sense and I was making plays everywhere, so those three from all different levels are my most memorable ones."
The ideal way to get away from football in the offseason is jet skis and family time.
"I love being on water, so Florida is my spot and I love jet skiing. That is probably one of my favorite things to do. I'll jet ski any day of the week. I like being on the water, it's peaceful. I also enjoy seeing my family, hanging out with my fiance, having a good time, and catching up with my nieces and nephews. Every time I see them, they're bigger and talking differently so I love seeing them. Those are definitely my favorite things to do."
Many of his friends and former teammates play in the NFL.
"I had a brother who played for Green Bay from 2010-15. But my friend Jeremy Chinn went to school with me, that's one. Craig James with the Philadelphia Eagles, Madre Harper for the Giants. Those are all guys that I went to school and played with and it's awesome seeing where we came from when we didn't have a lot of people coming out, we weren't really winning. Then now, we're all in the league looking at each other and remembering when we were eating Cup of Noodles and trying to figure out how we were going to pay rent. Those are my guys."
His brother, Mike Neal, gives him tips and tricks of the game.
"Oh absolutely. All the time. He loves the game, and it still boils in his blood so whenever he gets a chance to teach me he's all for it. After every game he's the first person to send me paragraphs of text messages, he'll record the plays and give me suggestions on what I could have done on certain plays."
His cleats are one of a kind.
"It started because I was seeing everyone else doing it. I was like 'Man, I want some custom cleats.' We get the team issued stuff, but I wanted to have my own flavor too. I ended up getting in contact with a guy and every other week or so I hit him up with some ideas or send him what I'm thinking and tell him to put it together because I trust his vision."
His favorite holiday is the day after his birthday.
"I'm a Christmas baby, I was born on Christmas Eve, so I like the whole gift-giving thing, giving people stuff. So, that's a thing I look forward to doing and it's my favorite holiday."
He wishes that he could have met Bob Marley.
"Bob Marley, man. I wish I could have met Bob Marley. I feel like that dude was way more than what the eye meets; very spiritual, peaceful, smart, so that's probably somebody I'd love to meet."
A fictional character that he relates to most is a demigod.
"If you've seen the Disney movie Hercules before he got big, that's who I relate to. That's probably my favorite fictional character."