Same Face, Different Bird

I remember when Earl Thomas was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in 2010. He was the second rated safety in that draft class behind Eric Berry. Pete Carroll named him the team’s starting safety and he had an immediate impact early on. When the 2013 season came around, he was a part of a defense that was ranked at the top of the league with Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman. They were known as the “Legion of Boom” or LOB which helped team win their first Super Bowl. It’s been a rocky tenure as of late with the Seahawks. With the injuries and stating he’d sit out if the contract wasn’t negotiated or he’d be traded to another team if possible. During a week four game against the Arizona Cardinals, he broke his leg and was lost for the rest of the season. He entered the new calendar year as a free agent. He signed a four-year/$55 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens.

He’s been nothing but consistent since coming into the league. He’s also one of the three best safeties in the league and you can argue that he’s the best when he’s healthy. He just knows where to be to make that big play and believe me, he’s made many of those. He can sit back in coverage, keep his eyes on the quarterback and when he loads up getting ready to throw the football, Earl attacks and gets his interception. I didn’t think I’d find myself saying this, but when I watch him play, I see a little bit of a Hall of Famer in him. I’m talking about Ed Reed. Earl can lure a quarterback into throwing the football sooner than he wants. I remember a play two seasons ago when the Seahawks played the Houston Texans. They were facing a rookie quarterback in Deshaun Watson and Earl sat back and kept his eyes glued to Watson. Sherman was defending Deandre Hopkins. The second that Hopkins tried to slant inside, Earl was there to get the interception and take it to the endzone for six points. He can also play the run and make a tackle in the open field. From sideline to sideline, no safety can do it quite like Earl. He can cover a lot of ground. I’ve seen him drop back about 30 or 40 yards and deflect a pass. He just seems to be everywhere at the right time.

This move comes right after the Ravens lost some key pieces on their defense. Terrell Suggs is gone along with Eric Weddle. He’s the only player in the NFL with at least 25 interceptions and ten forced fumbles since entering the league in 2010.