In the off-season, Seattle Seahawks star safety Earl Thomas approached head coach Pete Carroll and told him that he wanted to return punts for the Super Bowl champions in the upcoming season.
Carroll agreed and so Thomas went away to work on the newest facet of his All-Pro caliber repertoire. Thomas went up against Bryan Walters in the pre-season to see who would become the team's 1st string return man and Thomas won out.
After a dodgy first outing where Thomas made one egregious error in not calling for a fair catch, the 25-year old has been taken off return duties and has promoted Walters instead.
While Thomas accepts the decision made by Carroll, he wasn't happy, and directed that anger at the Seahawks fans who begged him to stop.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the team,” Thomas said to the Seattle Times. “So I just took it that way. I’m all in no matter what the situation is. B-Walt (Bryan Walters), he’s a great returner, he deserves it, he’s been working hard. It doesn’t always happen like you want it too. But I know I’m still up as far as situationally and I’ll always be prepared. I know I’m going to impact this team as far as punt return in a positive way. I have full faith in my capability and I’m not worrying about anything."
All fairly tame in a positive way, but then it got rather interesting...
"But the fans, they can kind of sleep easier now. They can stop sending their regards in. They were a little bit selfish in my perspective. But it’s a give-give, I guess. But overall, man, I’m just happy to be a part of this team. That’s it.”
“You know, it’s just like me saying in your job, I don’t want you to get a promotion because you are too good at what you do. People don’t understand you, so they don’t know what you are capable of. They just are so used to seeing you in a certain role they don’t want you to expand. That’s just my mind frame.”
It seriously looks like Thomas really had his heart set on being a returner and it's been taken away. What a lot of people will see as being 'good for the team' actually hurts Thomas to his core and in a way it's really sad to see someone work for something and it be taken away.
What do you think NFL fans, is Earl Thomas right when he calls Seahawks fans selfish? Tell us what you think in the comments below...