To see the full list of the 30 most important Seahawks in 2013, click here.
See, the thing is, this isn’t a list of the 30 best Seahawks. If that were the case, then Earl Thomas would be ranked #1 and everyone could go home. No, this is the 30 most important Seahawks, and in this case while Earl Thomas is VERY important to how this team will fare in 2013 (indeed, the most important player on a very good defense), there are a couple who I feel will be even more important (as you will read tomorrow, if you’re so inclined to read what I intend to write).
Earl Thomas is the one that turns a “pretty good” defense into a great defense. Every great defense needs an elite free safety roaming the center of the field, making plays you can only gape at in disbelief. Earl Thomas is our Ed Reed, our Troy Polamalu, our John Lynch, and so on.
With Earl Thomas in the middle of the field, we can afford to have our big, physical corners up on the line of scrimmage roughhousing opposing receivers. We can let Kam Chancellor dip down towards the line of scrimmage to help out on run plays. We can get away with not having the best pass rush in the NFL because with Earl Thomas we have the best secondary in the NFL.
Without Earl Thomas, a lot of dominoes would fall on defense and all of them would be bad. We would go from a Top 5 defense to maybe a Top 15 or 20 defense. Without Earl Thomas, a lot of people would REALLY have to step their games up – including the backup charged with trying to replace an All Pro – and I just don’t know if it would work as consistently well as it does now with Earl Thomas in the fold.
This team isn’t a Super Bowl contender without Earl Thomas (or the top two guys on this list playing at the height of their potential). So, thank your lucky stars he plays for the Seahawks and not some other loser team.