Earl Thomas was so mad at himself for missing tackles and getting beaten deep by opposing receivers last week that he roughed it.
“Yeah, I didn’t take a shower after the game,” the Seahawks’ three-time All-Pro safety said after his subpar opener in Seattle’s 12-10 escape against Miami.
“I just put my tights on and my shorts and slippers, and got out of there. Jumped in my Rolls and went home.”
If only we all could jump in our Rolls-Royce and go home after a tough day at work.
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On Sunday, Thomas will have to board a team bus to Los Angeles International Airport after the Seahawks (1-0) play the Rams (0-1) in the home team’s return to the Memorial Coliseum.
And this time, he intends to shower.
“My timing was off,” he said of last weekend’s game against the Dolphins. “Like when I had to track a hip, I was just higher. I wasn’t level. My eye discipline wasn’t right. All that stuff.”
Asked if he had to guard against the temptation to overcorrect, Thomas cut off the question with his characteristic intensity.
“No, no,” he said. “This is a feel thing, bro. I’m good.
“I think I’m trying to stay connected to my game self. I have to stay connected with how I really move in the game. I try to visualize that in my head out here in practice. I think we probably all do that, but it helps me.”
Tough days at the office are so rare for the seventh-year veteran, who is one of the preeminent NFL safeties, that they are even more noticeable to everyone when they do happen.
Of course, it’s easy to notice because Thomas is the last man back on the Seahawks defense, the lone man in the center of the field.
If he doesn’t do his job, the other team scores.
That’s what could have happened when Miami’s Kenny Britt got 6 yards behind Thomas in the first half. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s pass landed on Britt’s hands, but the receiver dropped the ball on his way to the end zone.
If Britt catches that, Thomas getting beaten could have resulted in the Seahawks getting beaten.
“I just think it was my first time out and I had such a great camp and preseason, so I wanted to keep building,” Thomas said. “I’m not saying I didn’t build on anything during that game, it’s just like, I wanted to finish. I didn’t finish like I wanted to.
“I just get away from everybody, kind of pray about it. It always comes to me, and then I get over it gradually. Once I get back into my prep, and I understand what I did last time, it starts to give me comfort and it’s just a gradual process.”
That “prep” was different last week. For the supremely focused Thomas, a master of his own routine, the players meeting two days before the opener, to discuss how they should best show unity during the pregame national anthem, was jarring.
Not to use it as an excuse, he says, but … was it a distraction?
“A little bit,” Thomas said. “It just kind of knocked our workweek off. We had a big meeting and it was so dramatic, and you kind of get out of football mode.
“You just kind of go back and see what you did prior, leading up to it, and I guess that was kind of something out of the norm that we wouldn’t really do.”
The Seahawks are planning to interlock arms again during Sunday’s anthem in Los Angeles.
And the entire team is expecting Thomas to be back on his All-Pro game against a Rams offense that will test him with 2015 offensive rookie of the year Todd Gurley running up the middle and zooming wide receiver Tavon Austin all over the field.
“He was on it. He was on it every snap, like he always is,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said Friday of Thomas’ practice week. “He’s a great focuser, and he wanted to really put himself back in line.
There was no indication that things were not going to go right last week. It was just a game that happened. So he’s ready to go.”
WILSON WILL PLAY; WEBB QUESTIONABLE
Russell Wilson was full go all week on his rapidly healing sprained ankle and will play Sunday.
“He made it through everything we asked him to do. He did fine. He’s going to play,” Carroll said of the quarterback, who will start for the 76th consecutive time in the regular season and playoffs. “We expect him to play well.”
Carroll said there will be no limitations on his elusive, improvisational QB.
It was a surprise that Wilson completed a full practice week on what apparently is a high ankle sprain, the coach said. Carroll told Seattle’s 710-AM radio on Monday that the injury was “a little bit of everything.”
“Yeah, I think it was a surprise that he was able to practice on Wednesday and all that,” Carroll said. “It showed the severity of it was that he could manage it and manage it well. So that was very fortunate.”
Fill-in right guard J’Marcus Webb has a new ankle injury that kept him out of Friday’s practice, but the team is counting on his playing against the Rams, too.
The team listed Webb as questionable. A backup right tackle coming out of the preseason, Webb started against Miami in place of rookie right guard Germain Ifedi.
Carroll confirmed Friday that Ifedi has a high ankle sprain, which usually take longer to heal, and that the rookie first-round draft pick has had the injury before and is “making good progress” in hopes of being able “to show something next week” before the Seahawks host San Francisco.
Asked if Webb will play Sunday, the coach said: “I believe so. Counting on it.”
Webb’s primary assignment is the Rams’ best defensive player, tackle Aaron Donald.
Webb’s injury raises the possibility that the Seahawks will sign Will Pericak from their practice squad to the active roster before the 1 p.m. Saturday deadline, so he’s available for the game in Los Angeles should Webb not be able to start.
This is the wrong Sunday to be contemplating a Plan C on an offensive line that has new starters in four of the five positions. The Rams defensive front has sacked Wilson 35 times in eight career games. That’s more than any other opponent.
Running back C.J. Prosise is questionable for the L.A. game with the cracked bone in his hand.
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle