Seahawks safety Earl Thomas met with reporters Thursday afternoon before practice to discuss his Week 1 performance against the Dolphins and more. Here are three takeaways from Thomas' press conference with the media:
1. He "Wasn't In Rhythm At All" vs Miami
Sunday wasn't the best game for Thomas, and he was straight-forward acknowledging that. Thomas missed a few tackles (which is pretty uncommon) and said he was "a couple of steps off." When asked what he noticed after re-watching the game film, Thomas admitted he wasn't on the same page as everybody else.
"I wasn't in rhythm at all," Thomas said. "I wasn't tied-in with the defense. Everybody had a great game —up front, Sherm (Richard Sherman), Kam (Chancellor), J-Lane (Jeremy Lane), Shead (DeShawn Shead). I was just a couple of steps off and it really showed, especially in the open-field when I was missing those tackles. I've got to put myself in better position initially.
"In this game, there's no room for error, so you've got to have a plan."
Additionally, Thomas said that once the game concluded, he got dressed, skipped taking a shower and went home. The troubles he had are certainly correctable.
"We still played great ball, man," Thomas said. "But everybody expects a lot out of themselves on this defense and that's just how we roll."
Added defensive coordinator Kris Richard, who called Thomas' performance an "anomaly": "He's challenged himself to be better. He understands what our defense needs of him. There comes a time in your professional life when it may not always go right, or the way that you see, but it always comes down to how you respond. I'm just absolutely fired up for him to go out there and play ball the way he knows how."
2. He's Impressed With Jeremy Lane And DeShawn Shead
As one of the leaders of the Seahawks defensive back group with Sherman and Chancellor, Thomas has been around to watch DeShawn Shead's growth from the practice squad to the starting lineup, and Jeremy Lane's maturation as a nickelback. Both Shead — who played all 53 defensive snaps in the opener — and Lane performed well against Miami, making plays on the ball and helping limit Ryan Tannehill to just 186 passing yards. Thomas praised both of their developments within the Seahawks' system.
"Shead came a long way." Thomas explained. "I remember when Kam (Chancellor) got hurt in the Super Bowl … Shead came in to relieve him. He was that plug-in guy starting off at first, then he found his niche on special teams, then he started to compete for that other spot at corner and now you see Shead. Shead's versatile, he can play safety, corner, and I think that's why he stuck around for so long.
"Shead and J-Lane, their games are growing, they're seeing it," Thomas said. "Especially J-Lane in that nickel spot, he's nasty in that nickel, man. I'm really, really impressed with his progress."
3. Rams Bring Diversity
After reviewing film of the Rams, Thomas said Los Angeles offers a lot in terms of personnel groupings and brings a lot of "crazy" formations. One of the players that moves around in the Rams' different sets is speedy wide receiver Tavon Austin, who they deploy on the outside, in the slot and even in the backfield as a running back.
"We have to understand the zoo looks and stuff like that in those situations," Thomas said.
"This is a divisional opponent. We know what they're trying to do. Hopefully it pans out like what we're creating in this week of prep."
Throughout their history, the Rams and the Seahawks have played each other 35 times with the Seahawks winning 21 of those games. This Sunday the Seahawks will take on the Rams in Los Angeles for the first time since 1988.