When you’re good at something, people always want to know the secret to your success. When they ask me, I tell them there is no secret—but a lot more goes into it than what people think.
Some dudes, they play with pure athleticism. I’m not one of those guys. I feel like I’m a decent athlete. But I feel like my tape study and my meticulous attention to detail is what makes me a good ball player.
Game tape is like my second hobby because it makes the game easier. You can have it on your iPad. So, I’ll be there in bed and just go through film all day.
What you have to understand is that watching film and learning what you need to know—it takes time. The great receivers all have their tricks; you have to study the film to learn those tricks, what they do well, and what they like to do. Call other corners to see what moves a receiver used on them.
You can’t be out there partying and think you’re going to be the best. It takes discipline; on and off the field. Without it, you can still be a good player. You might play well. You might make some plays. But you’re not making all the plays you could have made.
You can be the guy that many people consider to be one of the best corners in the game; you can be that guy whose side nobody throws to. But you’re not the best corner if nobody is throwing to your side. The best corners get picks, and they get picks because they bait quarterbacks into throwing to their side.
How do you do that?
You show them exactly what they want to see. If they want to see a picture of me closer to their No. 1 receiver than their No. 2 receiver, I will give them that, at the snap. But by the time the ball comes out, I will be where I intended to be all along.
So, I’ve given him what he wants, and he’ll throw it and be like, “You sneaky sneaky.”
How do you get to a point where you can see all of that? You become a student of the game; you study film. You pay attention and learn what you can about everyone you could face. Never stop learning.
The guys that do that, become students of the game, those guys are the great ones.