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April 29, 2014 at 4:13 PM

What they said: Earl Thomas, Pete Carroll, John Schneider talk about contract extension

Here are some quotes from today’s press availabilities for Earl Thomas, Pete Carroll and John Schneider discussing Thomas’ new contract:

First, Thomas:

Overall thoughts: “Everybody that came up just a while ago really helped me in my growth. It was really important for me to share this moment. Cause it’s not about me. It’s about the people that helped me along the way too. When I say I’m in, it’s not just about football to me. It’s about the connection I’m starting to really realize when you really use your resources right some magic can happen. That Super Bowl season wasn’t about football. It’s more than that to me. I grew as a man. This is where I grew up because I came out of college so early. I love this place. It’s very dear to my heart. It’s very sacred. I’m excited to keep this thing rolling.”

On if his time here has gone quickly: “I’m not amazed (at how quick it’s gone) because I really haven’t had the time to sit back and think about it because I’m on to the next. I’m always trying to find the next challenge to really open up another door to try to see that unseen potential that people don’t really have the mind to think that way. I always say my potential as far as the human body and everything is limitless. There’s no ceiling here.”

On if he had any doubt the contract would get done: “No, not at all. I know my worth. I know what I bring to this team. I really don’t have to talk about it that much. I just go out there and do my job. But I wanted a clear conscious going into camp and everything. I take the mental side of football very sersiously, and I don’t like distractions. Like today being late to this meeting, I was like, Come on family let’s go! I was really kind of upset. I got pulled over by the police so this was kind of whirlwind trying to get here. Everything happens for a reason but this is just a great moment, even with the bad.”

Did you really get pulled over? “Definitely. I didn’t make it up.”

Where were you? “Right down the street. I didn’t try to bulldog him and say, My name is Earl Thomas because then he’d be like, Man, this dude is cocky and give me a ticket. But he let me off. That’s the moral of the story.”

On what is to improve on his game for the next four years: “False steps, proper angles, not stopping my feet, quarterback intentions, tracking, I mean there’s a lot.”

On if this is a sense of relief to get the deal done: “It definitely is a relief. Just to go into the season with a clear conscience, that’s all I can ask for.”

On if he ever dreamed when he was a kid that he would be the highest paid safety in the league: “I don’t dream that way. I kind of dream as the hero. As a guy that is not a closer, because I think it’s higher than a closer. A guy that from play one to the end, and when a everybody is breaking down I’m calm, cool, and collected because I know that whatever happens I got it.”

On when did he start working on his deal and when did he want to get it over with: “It kind of jumped out of the blue, but I definitely wanted to get it over with before we started OTAs and camp.”

On if he wanted the highest paid safety label to separate himself: “I don’t think it’s a label. It’s something that I’ve earned. Bad stuff just doesn’t fuel me anymore. This definitely fueled me and gave me a boost. I’m just excited to prove who I am again and see if I can get better. It’s just a process so I’m focusing on the process, and the destination is going to take care of itself.

On what does he do going forward to make sure he takes care of business: “After I leave here I’m going to go watch film. Knock it out little by little.”

On if he is lobbying for Richard Sherman at all: “Sherm is going to take care of himself. I’m not an agent; I’m not any of that. I’m a football player. But Sherm has everything under control. He’ll take care of it.”

On if him getting this contract magnifies his responsibility to the younger players: “I don’t need anybody to knock me on my butt to say I need to get my stuff together. Just like this contract doesn’t reinforce that I have to remind myself on what I have to do. I know what I need to do, with or without this contract.”

On where the program is now and where it was when he first got drafted and how does he feel to be a focal part of the growth: “Just the foundation. It was the first draft of the Pete Carroll era, and just to see it grow. That’s who I am, I grow, and just to see that grow too. With Kam Chancellor, even Golden Tate who left, Walter Thurmond, we had a lot of great guys that came out of that draft class. Good memories.”

Now, Schneider:

Opening thoughts: “When you go out doing what I do and looking for professional football players scouting at colleges, this is what you’re looking for right here. You’re looking for a guy with this type of intensity, integrity, work ethic, passion. And the bottom line about this gentleman right here is he’s a young man who wants to be great. And it permeates throughout the building. It permeates throughout the team. And you can just feel the energy from this man. I can’t tell you how proud we are to have drafted Earl. Four years ago already, Earl. It’s pretty cool. We’re very excited for Earl.”

Now Carroll:

Opening thoughts: “The thing that comes the front to me is this program has always been based on competition. When we look for players and coaches to add to our club, we’re always looking for great competitors. When we had the chance to take Earl, I don’t know that I appreciated it as much as I do now the great the competitor that he is. He has, throughout the time he’s been with us as a very young man, played at the highest level he can possibly generate every single day that he’s played for this organization. He has been one of the pillars of the mentality that has become championship for us. For us to have this opportunity to recognize that and recognize a guy who is at the top of his game playing the style he does and representing so well, it’s a very proud moment for us.”

On what he saw when the team drafted Thomas: “He had the core of his tremendous battler and competitor was there and was obvious, and he wanted to do so much so early. We had talks about that to try and calm him down and see if we could find the essence of his game. He’s done a remarkable job and made tremendous improvement from his first year to his second, his second to his third, and he’s recognized as one of the great players in this league for the right reasons. As Earl would detest to, he continues to grow and he wants to become the best he can possibly be. He’s always wanted that, but at an early age it was just all clubbing and scratching and clawing. Now it’s really thoughtful and really deep.”

On Thomas’ value in practice: “It is a tremendous factor for us, and it’s something we count on. We always want to operate at our highest level, and that’s just the way he lives. He’s been a big impact in the general sense because everybody can count on that. When we speak about how we want to go, the illustration of how he practices lives strong for us. But it really goes beyond that. If you ask Byron Maxwell how he’s found his game, it’s because he’s tried to pattern his ways as he sees Earl. It’s a direct example of the impact he has, but it’s very obvious to us and it’s a huge deal for us. It’s why it’s cool to recognize him in this position because he has been such a big factor beyond just his own play.”





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