Earl Thomas done returning punts for Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas is done returning punts.

He had a terrible first game returning unts.

Now, the experiment is over. Bryan Walters will replace him.“Here’s what we’re going to do here,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “I think that the focus from Earl n the punt thing is so much because he wants to do so well that I’d like to take that off him. He’s going to still be available for us on punt returns and we’ll use him when we need him but we’ll use Bryan Walters back there and mix our guys as we go. I just noticed in the game that he wants to do so well that his focus is challenged and I’d rather have his focus playing at safety. After the long experiment and time that we spent doing it, he’s not doing it.”

Thomas is fine with the change, according to Carroll.

“He understands,” Carroll said. “He sees it. He has such tremendous pride in his position and what he brings to defense and what it takes to get that focus. He sensed it also, so we really just talked it through. It made sense to him too and he actually had the same thought the night before when I talked to him. This is an opportunity for him to really focus even more where we need him the most. The thing that I love the most is he wants to do it so badly.

"That’s such an important factor usually for the punt returns that they want to get out there and go do it. Bryan Walters has had a tremendous background in catching punts. He’s got great hands and great decision making. As far as I’m concerned we’re getting an excellent situation guide for us."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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