A little insight for those of you who don’t get the pleasure of standing on the sidelines: Sometimes the drills and team sessions and scrimmages just don’t offer enough opportunities for players to show off their athleticism. Sometimes these guys will just do something on the practice field that makes your jaw drop. Like fly.
During Seahawks minicamp last week, as the different units ran to drills at various parts of the field, the secondary players headed toward a line of 6-foot-tall blocking dummies that the defensive line players use to work on their pass-rush moves. Normal people run around such obstacles. Earl Thomas, Walter Thurmond and Will Blackmon each leaped over a bag. It was such a stunning display of flight, I can’t tell you who got the best clearance or how much of a leap-frog boost they got, but each elevated enough to get their crotch over the top of the bag. It even left other players shaking their heads.
In the case of Thomas, it was a reminder of the play when he drew a dubious penalty for nearly jumping over Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill on a crucial play against the Dolphins. In the case of Thurmond, those skittish about his chronic knee problems, will be happy to know he had a safe landing.
This is a diversion from today’s best links, which include a pair of video interviews of Thomas on with the NFL Network (linked through Seahawks.com), in which the two-time Pro Bowl safety showed himself as the understated voice of reason on the so-called Legion of Boom.
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The first clip is with LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sharper in which LT contends the Seahawks have overtaken San Francisco as the favorite in the NFC West because the Hawks have added Percy Harvin and the Niners have lost receiver Michael Crabtree (achilles). Sharper added his belief that quarterback Russell Wilson will “have an even more spectacular sophomore season.” The panel was asked to compare the Seahawks’ secondary to that of Tampa Bay, both LT and Sharper picked Seattle because of its experience together. Earl Thomas was cautious and respectful. “I respect the game a lot and respect what everybody else is doing, but I definitely know we set the tempo,” he said. He expanded on the value of the unit’s sense of brotherhood. Of course … they fly together.
The highlight of the second clip with NFL AM is when Jeff Garcia asks Thomas about the Seattle-San Francisco rivalry. “The 49ers are just like us … run the ball, very physical. When we play them, we know it’s going to be a blue-collar mentality game. We’re definitely looking forward to the matchup.” Please note that he didn't mention choking anyone. While Thomas engages in a lot of chatter on the field, he’s careful in his interviews.
Clare Farnsworth at Seahawks.com has a feature on Korey Toomer, a very gifted athlete still learning the SAM linebacker spot. Toomer, out of Idaho, spent most of last season on the practice squad. Those fans still smarting over the flameout of former linebacker Aaron Curry might have trouble seeing Toomer running around in the No. 59 jersey. Toomer caught the eye of linebackers coach Ken Norton during his pro day workout when he ran a 4.53 40 at 234 pounds and registered a 42-inch vertical leap.
Pro Football Talk checks in with former Seahawks tight end John Carlson, who had a mere eight catches with the Vikings last season after signing a 5-year $25 million contract. PFT also has a story of divisional interest, as the Cardinals’ talented linebacker Daryl Washington is dealing with legal problems.