Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Earl Thomas named to pro bowl, five other Seahawks named alternates

By Kshell

For the first time in three seasons the Seattle Seahawks will be sending a player to the pro bowl. When the Pro Bowl teams were announced second year safety Earl Thomas was selected to the pro bowl while five of his teammates could later join him as alternates. Last season as a rookie Thomas was named an alternate while this year he is finally going to the pro bowl. Of the six Seattle Seahawks honored five of those players were acquired by Pete Carroll through the draft, trade or free agency showing you the job he has done shaping this roster. Thomas who was a first round selection last season along with Russell Okung is part of a solid Seahawks foundation for years to come. Thomas becomes the first Seahawks safety selected to the pro bowl since Darryl Williams in 1998.

When the Seahawks selected Thomas last year in the first round he changed the Seahawks defense. The Seahawks for the past decade have struggled at the safety position but finally had a youngster in Thomas. He was paired up with veteran Lawyer Milloy as Milloy taught him the game well. Milloy also mentored pro bowl alternate Kam Chancellor last season as well. For a franchise who hadn't had a pro bowl safety in 13 seasons in one draft selected a pro bowler and an alternate. Thomas statistically had a better season last year than this year although this year he hasn't allowed any long touchdown passes. For the year Thomas has recorded 90 tackles, two interceptions, while recovering two fumbles.

Thomas has been all over the place in helping shape the Seahawks new identity. The Seahawks under Carroll are now a physical team that thrives on good defense instead of the Mike Holmgren era where it was all about the offense. Thomas has transformed this secondary which features him as a pro bowler and two alternates which many saw as a weakness heading into the season when in fact turned into a strength. Carroll has made so many changes to this team that there isn't really a face for this franchise. Well I think there is a face now and his name is Earl Thomas the safety from the University of Texas. Hopefully Thomas will be joined by some of his other teammates in Hawaii as well.

The other alternates were safety Kam Chancellor, cornerback Brandon Browner and fullback Michael Robinson were first alternates. Second alternate was running back Marshawn Lynch while punter Jon Ryan was third alternate.  I'll start with Lynch who has rebounded from a rough start to have rushed for 1,118 yards(4.2 YPC) with 12 touchdowns. Lynch has rushed for a TD in 11 straight games for the Seahawks which is a record. Chancellor on the season has been great along with Thomas in recording 87 tackles, four interceptions, a sack, forcing two fumbles and recovering a fumble. Browner is a great story as he played in the CFL for six seasons and Carroll discovered him out of nowhere. Browner this year had six interceptions which were returned for 220 yards including two touchdowns. Michael Robinson and Jon Ryan have been solid as well this season. Carroll other than Ryan has drafted Thomas and Chancellor, traded for Lynch and signed Browner and Robinson.

In conclusion, I'm so happy for Earl Thomas couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. When hearing the news that he had made the pro bowl Thomas tweeted this "Bout to go to dinos pub and order ever drink they got 12th man come join me it's on me..." which for those who took him up on his offer I bet had a great time.  Also during preseason this year I attended a practice where let's just say the guys who stuck around to sign autographs are no longer on the roster. Then one guy came out and that was Thomas who signed for everyone. It was worth the wait too as I also own his jersey as well.

Thomas is one of those guys who will be a household name in Seattle and throughout the nation. He just turned 21 years old too and doesn't appear to have a big head which most people often complain about when it comes to athletes. Earl Thomas is not only a great player but also a great human being as well. For the other alternates hopefully they can somehow make the pro bowl as well to join Thomas who is the first Seahawk in the pro bowl since 2008. A franchise that had multiple pro bowlers from 2003-2008 was shutout for two straight years showing the job Carroll inherited and has now done. Congrats to Earl Thomas on making the pro bowl he definately deserves it!

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