Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas named Pro Bowl starter

FootballNFL Pro BowlEarl ThomasNational Football ConferenceMarshawn LynchJon RyanBrandon Browner

Seattle Seahawks second-year free safety Earl Thomas was named to the NFC Pro Bowl Tuesday, the first Seahawk to earn a Pro Bowl berth since 2008.

The 5-foot-10, 202-pound Thomas has had two interceptions so far this season, but also 88 tackles.

“I know Earl hasn’t had the picks, but he is playing better,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said recently. “He’s playing more disciplined football for us.”

While Thomas tied the franchise rookie record for interceptions (5) last season, he understands there is more to playing the free safety position that picking off passes.

“My whole mindset is just to make everybody on the defense better,” he said recently. “My better ways might not be seen by everybody out there, but everybody on the team knows. So me playing in the box (closer to the line of scrimmage and between the tackles), I haven’t been able to roam as much. But it hasn’t really affected me.

“I just try to do better in other areas. Like get more tackles.”

Thomas was not among the Top 3 at his position in the fan balloting for the Pro Bowl, so it was the other players and coaches in the NFC that put him over the top when they cast their ballots last week.

Thomas could have company at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii, as five of his teammates gained alternate status in the balloting:

Brandon Browner is the first alternate at cornerback (three corners were selected).

Kam Chancellor is the first alternate at safety (three were selected, including Thomas).

Michael Robinson is the first alternate at fullback (one was selected).

Marshawn Lynch is the second alternate at running back (three were selected).

Jon Ryan was the third alternate at punter (one was selected).

Alternates will be added to the squad if players selected cannot play, or choose not to play.

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