Ravens’ Earl Thomas feels the Seahawks were phasing him out for linebackers
Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas has had a long, storied career. He first started with the Seattle Seahawks, but everyone knows that chapter ended poorly. Thomas revealed that the Seahawks were attempting to phase him out of the defense, according to Adam Jude.
This gives a partial explanation for the rift between Thomas and the organization.
Earl Thomas: "I feel like they were kind of trying to phase me out. They were thinking more linebackers that you see. They’ve got the 3-headed monster w/ K.J., Bobby + Kendricks. And Coach Norton is the D-coordinator. He’s a linebacker at heart, so I understood what was going on” https://t.co/T368jP0tMB
— Adam Jude (@A_Jude) October 16, 2019
This is a pretty weird development, considering the state of today’s NFL. Almost every team in the league is increasingly pass-happy, leading many teams to fit defensive backs on the field in any way possible. The Seahawks linebackers are increasingly rare, as they’re capable of playing well in pass coverage as well as in run defense. Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner is an all-time great who has no trouble covering running backs and tight ends. KJ Wright is another player who frequently covers slot receivers and tight ends. Mychal Kendricks is the weakest link in the trio, but even he is not bad in coverage.
Thomas himself is no slouch against the run. His range and speed allow him to effectively play sideline-to-sideline against running backs attempting to break big runs to the perimeter. Thomas’ presence against the run has been huge in his first year with his new team, the Ravens. Baltimore allows a measly 80 yards per game to running backs, which ranks fourth in the NFL.