Earl Thomas still had no time for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll after the game. A video shows the two walking right past each other as Thomas went on to embrace former teammate Russell Wilson. During the offseason, Thomas emphasized his belief that Carroll was not truthful with him, which the safety noted prompted him to give the Seahawks sideline the middle finger.
“I don’t regret my decision,” Thomas told ESPN. “If my teammates felt like it was toward them, I regret that part. But I don’t regret doing that to Pete…I gave Pete the middle finger because I felt like he wasn’t being honest with me.”
It is important to note that the video only shows a few seconds of the time after the game, so it is possible the two spoke at an earlier point. During the week leading up to the game, Thomas noted to The Seattle Times that he felt the Seahawks wanted to “phase me out.”
“I feel like they were kind of trying to phase me out (of Seattle),” Thomas explained to The Seattle Times. “They were thinking more linebackers that you see. They’ve got the three-headed monster with K.J. (Wright), Bobby (Wagner) and (Mychal) Kendricks. And obviously, Coach (Ken) Norton is the D-coordinator. He’s a linebacker at heart, so I understood what was going on.”
Wilson & Thomas Exchanged Jerseys After the Game
Thomas and Carroll may not have embraced after the game, but it was different with Wilson. The two former teammates hugged before exchanging jerseys, and Thomas also embraced linebacker Bobby Wagner as well. Thomas was seen waiving around Wilson’s jersey after the game.
Leading up to Week 7, Wilson emphasized the two are still friends and explained how close their families are with each other. During his weekly press conference, Wilson also complimented Thomas as a teammate and called him one of the best safeties to ever play in the NFL.
I hate having to play Earl, because we spent so much time together. You think about all the fun moments together, just everything else. It’s been cool. All the games we were able to find a way to win and all the amazing plays he’s made. He’s as good as it gets. When you think about safeties, to be honest with you, he is one of the top one, two or three safeties to ever play the game, in my opinion. You know, you think about the Polamalus, you think about Ed Reed, you think about Earl, you think about Lott too, he’s an amazing player. There’s been some great players and he is one of those. I love Earl as a person. I love him as a player. I loved him as a teammate. Facing him every day for seven years, it was always a tough challenge every day in practice. He was amazing just how fast he was [a] sideline to sideline kind of guy. Physical, he brought it every day.
Carroll Emphasized He Still “Loves” Thomas
Thomas has been outspoken about his criticism of Carroll, but the Seahawks coach has not returned the favor. Carroll shrugged off last year’s incident and emphasized Thomas’ role in the Seahawks’ success.
“Obviously he was upset,” Carroll noted, per The Seattle Times. “But, my heart’s pretty big, pretty wide open to these guys from the time we spend together and all the stuff that we do. It’s way more important than some gesture or some statement. … I kind of have space for them to be themselves and how they do it and how they handle it — I’m going to love them anyway.”