By Brady Henderson
Danny O’Neil’s latest column provided a starting point for what would be a spirited debate on Monday’s edition of “Brock and Danny”.
O’Neil and Brock Huard were joined by John Clayton and Mike Sando of ESPN.com, and the four had three different opinions about the question at hand: who is the Seahawks’ best player regardless of the value that a given position carries?
“If we forget about the positional pecking order and just talk about on-field performance, [Earl] Thomas right now is the best Seahawk at his craft,” O’Neil writes while noting that a safety isn’t as important to a team’s success as a left tackle or a quarterback.
Sando agreed with O’Neil’s choice of Thomas as Seattle’s best player, saying his range is instrumental to what the Seahawks do defensively.
“I did this exercise last year, talked to some people around the league about it and Earl Thomas was the name that we kept coming back to. I think there was a period there where you could make a case for Marshawn Lynch, and I wouldn’t argue against that, but Earl Thomas for his ability to let them play that man coverage the way they do with bigger guys works because he’s able to get over there,” Sando said.
“We saw it all the time. Look at the playoff game against the Redskins. There was an outside matchup that RG III likes and because he doesn’t throw the ball absolutely perfectly, Earl Thomas picks it off. Well, having a guy who can do that is such a luxury. You talk about trying to make corners in the Seahawks’ image, it really helps to have a guy who can let you play that defense the way you do by being able to get to different places around the field.”
Clayton went with cornerback Richard Sherman, saying the “mind-boggling” plays he made during offseason workouts are evidence that he’s even better than he was last year, when he earned first-team All-Pro honors. Clayton suggested that Sherman could reach double-digit interceptions in a season if opposing quarterbacks weren’t so deterred from throwing his way.
“Just incredible to see how he’s able to move toward the ball, his ability to read a play and know where the guy’s going to be on the route, it’s just a marvel to watch,” Clayton said.
Huard shares his take as he and O’Neil continue the debate in the video below.
You can listen to Monday’s show here.