It’s hard to argue with Earl Thomas.
The Seahawks’ safety is feverishly rehabbing, and has posted a video of his workouts, after missing the last four games of the 2016 season with a broken leg.
Before last season, Thomas hadn’t missed any games since being drafted in the first round by the Seahawks in 2010, and he says that the Seahawks’ stay in the 2016 playoffs would have been longer if he played.
“My drive comes from the strides I made last year and my understanding of how our defense works and how big of a impact I have on the defense” Thomas told 710 ESPN Seattle. “I know if I train hard and commit myself, I’ll give myself a chance to be dominant again and also us a great chance to win a championship. I truly believe things would’ve turned out differently if I would’ve never went down last year.”
The Seahawks lost 36-20 at Atlanta in the NFC divisional playoffs. According to Pro Football Focus via the Seattle Times, quarterbacks had a 61.6 passer rating on 42 attempts of at least 20 yards with Thomas on the field. That number spiked to a 112 rating on 32 attempts of 20 or more yards with Thomas not on the field.
Had the third-seeded Seahawks won at Atlanta, they would have hosted the fourth-seeded Packers in the NFC championship game. The Packers got crushed at Atlanta, and it’s even harder to win at Seattle.
That “what if?” is driving Thomas to, as the narrator of the aforementioned video says, “work like an undrafted free agent.”
About Mike Batista
Mike is a longtime NFL analyst and Steelers fan. He currently writes for Steelers Addicts, and has also written for Bleacher Report.