Earl Thomas matches his ferocious playing style on the gridiron with an unnerving intensity off the field, so much so that he even outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman dare not speak to him when the big hitting free safety prepares himself mentally for the game of football.
The Legion of Boom remain the most terrifying set of defensive backs in the NFL and the heart and soul of the group is their leader Earl Thomas, he brings an unwavering focus and commitment to improving, listening to him speak will give you a yearning to hit someone on the football field.
Three weeks ago, the mood in Seahawks locker room was jovial as players relaxed after a hard days practice, well everyone except Thomas, who still fully dressed sat engrossed in his own thoughts whilst displaying an intensity that is unmatched. Even Richard Sherman was wary "I'll probably talk to him in 10 minutes, But not before that" he said.
It has become a ritual for Thomas to lock himself into a zone after practice, the 25-year-old is just wired in a certain way and this is part of what makes him possibly the best free safety the entire NFL.
Ray Lewis had visited the Seahawks camp and caught up with defensive playmaker, Thomas' passion for the game and craving for laying a bit hit on an opposition player had a chilling effect on Lewis who was visibly pumped up from the conversation.
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Greatest of all time
Thomas is well known for his legendary dedication and its not only football that gets his 100% focus, it's any goal he sets his sights on.
The free safety also showed an uncompromising purpose whilst in College, a standout star for the Texas Longhorns, he would dominate the football field on Saturday and begin every Sunday morning by playing the organ at church.
No dream is too unobtainable for the 25-year-old either, he already knows how he wants and how his legacy will read once he's done, Thomas explained:
"It's not about me being the best safety, It's about me being the best defensive back ever. That's what I'm after. That's how you leave a mark on this game. When I think about the Hall of Fame and things like that, that's why I grind so hard. I know I have a chance to redefine this position."
He wants to take the position of free safety to the next level, but his most immediate concern is the form of the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks and in particular, the reduction in production by the defence he captains every Sunday.
Thomas to lead the Seahawks
Seattle had an historically great defence last year, drawing comparisons to the feared 1985 Chicago Bears. Last season they lead the league in turnovers with 39 and only allowed a mere 172 passing yards per game.
However this season has been a completely different story, after only minor adjustments to the personnel, the legion of boom along with its other defensive stars have given up 227 passing yards per contest along with only forcing 12 turnovers in the process.
Pete Carroll the head coach of the team has noticed the drop-off from their championship campaign and also puts a lot of the burden on his free safeties very capable shoulders, defensive backs coach Kris Richard explains:
"We want him to own the middle of the field,Any deep ball that goes up, we think 'Earl, let's go.' Anybody breaks through the front line of our defense, we think, 'Earl, get him down.' We have to be strong up the middle so in a lot of ways, he's our saviour back there."
Thomas became the highest paid safety in the league this off-season when he was rewarded by the franchise with a four-year, $40 million extension, Carroll has cited Thomas' versatility as the key behind his success and a large reason as to why he was paid so handsomely.
The Seahawks are currently 6-3 and far from trouble despite what you will hear from the media who think problems consistently mount in Seattle.
With outspoken players and leaders like Thomas and Sherman on the roster, the reported disputes in the locker room will be ironed out and it is likely you will see a very different Seahawks team for the second half of the NFL season, much in the same vain as the team who lifted the Lombardi Trophy only last year.
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