Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll commented Tuesday on safety Earl Thomas' "come get me" remark to Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett following Seattle's 21-12 Week 16 win at AT&T Stadium.
According to ESPN.com's Brady Henderson, Carroll suggested on 710 ESPN Seattle that the situation may have been blown out of proportion:
"We all know Earl and Earl's a wonderful guy and a great competitor, an incredible player and all that. He sees things a little differently sometimes. It's unfortunate because it causes people to have to take a stand on stuff, and then in this day and age, everything you say just goes and goes. Writing looks different than as you would say it."
Carroll joked that he was "up in arms" over Thomas' comments and said he had a discussion with his All-Pro safety after the fact:
"I sat with Earl afterwards and he was like, 'What do you mean?' He didn't think he did anything wrong at all. He didn't know. He was just having fun and he was really excited about the game. He was a little bit [wanting to] rub it in a little bit and have a good time with it, and then he just said something into the future. When you read it, it comes across bad. But if he had another chance, he wouldn't say that again.
"He was really concerned about our fans. That was his first [thought], 'Geez, I don't want to make them think that I don't love being here' and all that. So he said what he could say to try to clear it up and all that."
Henderson noted that after the game, Thomas told Garrett, "If ya'll got a chance to come get me, come get me," according to video footage from the Dallas Morning News and NFL Network. Thomas explained he meant only if Seattle moves on from him and said he is happy to be with the Seahawks.
Carroll continued to describe how Thomas didn't realize the uproar his comments to Garrett created:
"... He was blown away. He couldn't believe it. I was the first one that said something to him because I had heard it in our locker room, and I said, 'Do you realize what just happened? He said, 'No, what are you talking about?' We were sitting on the bench together. I know it bothers people, but we're OK. We'll get through it."
Thomas is one of the best safeties of this era with six Pro Bowl nods in eight NFL seasons.
Although the Orange, Texas, native has developed into a force for the Seahawks, his roots in the state run deep, as he also attended and played football at the University of Texas.
That could make the Cowboys an enticing destination for him in the future; however, he still has one year remaining on his contract.
While many of the Seahawks' top defensive players—including Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor—are done this season because of significant injuries, Thomas has continued to thrive and has 82 combined tackles and two interceptions.
Thomas and the Seahawks kept their playoff hopes alive by beating Dallas, and they can still qualify for the postseason with a win over the Arizona Cardinals in Week 17 at CenturyLink Field coupled with an Atlanta Falcons loss to the Carolina Panthers.