Growing up as an Oregon Ducks fan, Pete Carroll used to infuriate me during his days with USC. When I saw that he had Earl Thomas set up as a punt returner in both of Seattle’s preseason games, I could feel that same rage beginning to boil at my core.
Why on earth would anyone think it wise to nominate Earl Thomas, the best safety in the league and a key piece to the Seahawks infamous “Legion Of Boom,” as a punt returner? I see no logic to the decision at all.
Granted, I am not the coach of the team, and I understand that Thomas is a very fast, very talented athlete, but let’s just face the reality of the situation. He is no Deion Sanders.
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He’s not an elite threat from both the defensive and offensive side of the ball. He is no Devin Hester, who would not be terribly missed at WR should he get hurt returning a kick or punt. Earl Thomas need not dip his toe into the often dangerous water that is special teams.
It would seem to me that Jermaine Kearse would be a viable option to return both punts and kicks. I love Percy Harvin as well, but he is more of a kick returner, and he has also had too many injuries to make me feel entirely comfortable sending him to the wolves at full speed.
Perhaps Paul Richardson would make for a good selection. We know he is incredibly speedy and agile, so why not give him a shot? But not Earl Thomas. He is far too valuable to the team to be experimenting with him in a way such as this.
I usually stand behind everything Pete Carroll and the rest of the Seahawks coaching staff does, but they do not have my endorsement on this one. This is a terrible idea, one that will hopefully be put to rest very quickly.