Seattle Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas was selected as a Pro Bowl alternate today. He obviously was hoping for some better news, but still is happy with the accomplishment.
“I feel pretty good about it,” Thomas said. “I think there’s a lot of politics that go into it. But I’m happy to be in this situation. Right now I’m just worried about the game Sunday, and hopefully we can get a win and make the playoffs.”
Thomas also talked about his performance during the year. The verdict? A work in progress.
“It’s been up and down,” Thomas said about his rookie year. “I started off the season pretty strong. I had rough times at a point in time, but all together with the team I think we did a great job of just controlling what we could control on defense and going from there.”
Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck was in uniform at practice today but did not participate. Linebacker Lofa Tatupu (knee) did not participate in practice as well.
Today’s practice was the most intense I’ve seen in awhile. Pete Carroll had the offensive and defensive lines go through one-on-one drills with the entire team watching, and did the same thing with one-on-one pass drills, driving the competition level up.
The players seem focused, and understand that Sunday’s game presents an opportunity that doesn’t come around very often – making the playoffs.
“Honestly, my rookie year I didn’t really understand the magnitude of the playoffs,” said offensive tackle Sean Locklear, who played in the postseason as a rookie in the 2004 season. “Everybody wants to go, but how hard it is to get there. And older guys tell you, but I don’t think you really understand until you’ve actually been there, and actually played.
“So I try to tell the guys, look at the last two years. We haven’t been there, not even close. So to have this opportunity, there’s a lot of teams with a better record that don’t have this chance. So we need to take advantage of what it is now.”
Charlie Whitehurst had one of his better practices today, as the ball rarely touched the ground during individual and team drills.
“You could tell he’s ready to go,” said receiver Mike Williams. “He’s had his opportunities here and there, and he’s ready to seize the moment. So our group and the guys up front, we’ve got to do our part, and a little extra.”
Along with Hasselbeck and Tatupu, Brandon Stokley (head), and Olindo Mare (back) did not practice today.
For St. Louis, tight end Mike Hoomanawanui (ankle) did not practice and cornerback Jerome Murphy (finger) was a limited participant in practice.