Reaction to the Baltimore Ravens Earl Thomas problem
The Baltimore Ravens have themselves an Earl Thomas problem less than a month away from the regular season:
The Baltimore Ravens obviously have an Earl Thomas problem to handle. At first, I didn’t want to jump into anything. Information allows you to make more informed takes. At first glance this story was nothing but a training camp fight. It’s more than that. It was reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero that Earl Thomas was sent home from Ravens training camp.
What we know is as follows. Earl Thomas and Chuck Clark got into a fight in practice. There has been much reported on and speculated on with this altercation. According to a tweet from Jamison Hensley of ESPN, the altercation was serious and Thomas and Clark had to be separated. Hensley also shared Earl Thomas’s Instagram post where he showed his side of everything.
The best thing that can happen here is having cooler heads prevail. If you think about the situation the Ravens are in with Thomas, that’s the only happy ending to the story. Thomas is a Pro Bowl safety who just made the NFL Top 100. The Ravens are a better team with him than they are without him.
Trading Thomas isn’t going to be easy not only because of his contract and how late it is into training camp, but because of the potential baggage that would be pushing him out of Baltimore in the first place. The only good solution here is to have Thomas work things out with his teammates and the coaching staff.
According to a Tweet by CBS Sports reporter Jason La Canfora, the Ravens players seem to like DeShon Elliott. The one thing that became very apparent last season was how tight knit the Ravens have become as a team. If Thomas can’t click, that has the potential to hurt this dynamic.
Thomas has the highest grade in coverage from Pro Football Focus from 2015-2019 for safeties. Thomas may have issues fitting into the defensive unit. He may even have an attitude problem. I’m not at “The Castle” everyday, and I don’t really want to cast judgement on him from that angle.
What I do want to do is point out that Thomas is a proven commodity and DeShon Elliott just needs to prove he can stay healthy. If Elliott is the contingency plan, it’s honestly an exciting one; John Harbaugh would just need a contingency for that contingency. This is another thing you have to think about before you go down the Earl Thomas must go road.
At the very least, Thomas has an image problem. At the most he has a complete disconnect with the Ravens that can’t be reconciled. The Ravens can work with Thomas as long as he can work with them. If all that we know about this situation is true, Thomas has to make the efforts to make this right.
Thomas has to be a little bit less about his way of doing things and a little more into being a teammate. One thing that Thomas has the reputation for is being a ball hawk. He had two interceptions last year, but he’s had three seasons with five interceptions. Thomas has a good feel for the game and with reasonable limitations he should be allowed to bring to the table what he does well.
This strikes me as a communication thing more than anything. If he gets on the same page with Chuck Clark and the rest of the secondary, he’s going to be fine. Communication is a two way thing but Thomas has to repair the relationship. Thomas can make this situation worse or he can do the work he needs to do to put a period on a frustrating chapter of training camp.
The Bottom Line:
The Ravens needed to do something at safety when they brought Earl Thomas in. Knowing what they know now Eric DeCosta may have looked another way at the free safety position. That being said, I don’t think the end game is having Thomas on a different team. With Thomas not being on the practice field today, DeShon Elliott gets an opportunity. The Ravens get a preview of what life without Thomas would look like. They’re probably just not going there just yet.
What we know at the moment is that this is a problem. We don’t know how it will be resolved. We don’t know what will happen next. It’s clearly a hitch in training camp. We’ll let you know more as we know more. We’ll keep coming with opinions and takes on the Earl Thomas situation