Not a lot of good solid news comes out of OTAs, unless you have a talkative coach like Pete Carroll. The Seahawks coach didn’t disappoint, revealing on Tuesday that All-Pro safety Earl Thomas is currently the surprising #1 candidate to take over for departed receiver Golden Tate as the team’s punt returner.
What does Thomas think of being used as a punt return man? He seems to be all for it. “I’m an offensive guy at heart; I want to score,” the safety said via Art Thiel.
Thomas has scored just two touchdowns in his career, none on punt or kick returns. In fact, Thomas has never returned a punt or kick as a pro. He did return a few punts as a collegian at the University of Texas.
Some might question the wisdom of using a guy like Thomas on punt returns given the risk of injury. Especially when you consider that Seattle recently made him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.
Actually, the more you think about it, the more this seems like a totally crazy idea.
Yes, Thomas has terrific skills and probably can be a weapon on punt returns. But there are other candidates on the team who can do an equally good job, who aren’t being paid as much as Thomas.
I suspect that when Pete Carroll has a chance to think about things a little bit more, the plan to use Thomas on punt returns will be shelved. Thomas may want it to happen, and may be in Carroll’s ear to make it happen, but Carroll isn’t crazy like that. He won’t risk his best defensive player on return duty.