To see the full list of the 30 most important Seahawks in 2012, click here.
Why is the most important defensive player only #5 on the list? Because the Seahawks don’t have to worry NEARLY as much about the defense as they do about the offense. Points make the world go ’round in the NFL. The best defense in the world won’t win you a championship if your offense can’t move the ball down the field. AND, if your offense is really bad, it can actively make your defense worse by giving up turnovers, losing the time of possession battle, and consistently losing the field position battle.
The defense is the best part of this team, hands down. The defense, likewise, has the most depth at the most positions. So, if a starter or two goes down for the count, we have a better chance of not missing a beat on defense. That having been said, the person we can least afford to lose is not, in fact, Red Bryant, but Earl Thomas.
Red Bryant is our rock, our behemoth. He is the reason our defense will be able to force opposing offenses into being one-dimensional. With a stout D-Line against the run, other teams are going to be facing a lot of third & long situations. THAT’S where our “Best Secondary in the NFL” is going to have to take over and shine.
That’s where Earl Thomas is going to have to flash more of his potential.
Earl Thomas has the potential to be one of the best Seahawks to ever play the game. He has the potential to be the best safety in the NFL. He has speed, he can play the run or the pass, he can hit hard, and he has a nose for the football. For this defense to be truly great, it’s going to have to generate lots and lots of turnovers. For this defense to generate lots and lots of turnovers, it’s going to need Earl Thomas in the middle of the action at all times.
Red Bryant makes this defense good. Earl Thomas will make this defense elite.
He’s already a Pro Bowler, so it’s not like Earl Thomas hasn’t been living up to the hype that made him a first round draft pick. But, I don’t think it’s out of the question for Earl Thomas to make that jump to All Pro status. I figure, mmm, 8 picks ought to do it.