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Seahawks’ Earl Thomas prepares to bounce back after rare poor showing

Earl Thomas had three notable missed tackles in the Seahawks' win over Miami last Sunday. (AP)

RENTON – Seahawks free safety Earl Thomas was so upset with the way he played in the team’s season-opening win that he couldn’t wait to leave CenturyLink Field once it was over. Like, he really couldn’t wait.

“I didn’t take a shower after the game,” Thomas said Thursday. “I just put my tights on and my shorts and slippers and got out of there. Jumped in my Rolls and went home.”

And he also watched the game film, something he says he always does the same night.

What he saw this time was an uncharacteristically poor performance. Thomas missed three tackles, including one on Arian Foster’s 50-yard catch and run and another on Miami’s go-ahead touchdown drive, when Damien Williams made him whiff on a play that gained 29 yards. There was also an earlier lapse in coverage when Kenny Stills got wide open behind Thomas for what would have been an easy touchdown had he not dropped the pass.

Not the kinds of mistakes you expect from an All-Pro like Thomas.

Seattle’s defense was mostly dominant while holding Miami to 10 points and only 222 yards of offense. But Thomas was off his game.

“I wasn’t in rhythm at all. I wasn’t tied in with the defense. Everybody had a great game,” he said, noting the front seven and his fellow defensive backs. “I was just a couple steps off and it really showed, especially in the open field when I missed those tackles. I got to put myself in better position initially.”

He tweeted after the game, “That was a rough one.”

And an unexpected one. Thomas had a strong offseason and training camp as he regained the normalcy he missed last year summer when he was coming off shoulder surgery and playing without his safety mate, Kam Chancellor, who was holding out. Things were back to normal for Thomas this offseason.

“He had a great camp, there’s no reason why,” coach Pete Carroll said of Thomas’ struggles in the opener. “He just felt a little bit off. I saw it as a rare game. I’m not worried about it one bit. I’m disappointed for him because he has such high expectations and all of that, but he’ll bounce right back.”

Asked if the Seahawks’ pregame demonstration and the focus that went into it during the week may have distracted him, Thomas acknowledged that it did “a little bit.”

“It just kind of knocked our work week off,” he said. “We had a big meeting and it was so dramatic, and you kind of get out of football mode.”

How has Thomas responded since then?

“He’s challenged himself to be better,” defensive coordinator Kris Richard said. “He understands what our defense needs of him. There comes a time in your life, in your professional life, that it may not always go right or the way that you see. But it always comes down to how we respond. So, I’m absolutely fired up to see him go out there and just play ball the way he knows how.”