Harbaugh: Earl Thomas knows how to handle return

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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A six-time Pro Bowl pick, a three-time All-Pro selection and a one-time Super Bowl champion.

Safety extraordinaire Earl Thomas was all of those things as a Seattle Seahawk.

Despite that, the last memory of Thomas with the Seahawks is him taking a cart ride into the unknown, his leg busted and his middle finger extended in the direction of his sideline.

Thomas never got the contract extension he wanted and his career has carried on a season later in Baltimore, but he's bound for Seattle this week.

As the hype brews for Thomas' return with the Ravens to face the Seahawks in front of the 12s on Sunday, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh doesn't believe he needs to have any kind of talk with the safety on how to conduct himself in the return.

"No. I probably won't," Harbaugh told the media Monday. "I wouldn't presume to have a conversation about that. That's something he'll know how to handle. He knows what to do, how to handle himself."

In his initial six games with the Ravens, Thomas has handled himself accordingly for the 4-2 squad, which is perched atop the AFC North. With 19 tackles, two passes defended and an interception, Thomas is finding his legs and his way in a new place while simultaneously taking on a leadership role despite his newness.

"I think he's played well. I think he's getting healthier," Harbaugh said. "He had a broken leg last year. Coming back from that is not something that you really should take lightly. I think he gets stronger every week and faster every week and looks good. He's taken to the whole thing. He's been a leader; he believes in what we're doing and how we're doing it. Culture-wise and football-wise. I love being around him. I love his demeanor. I love his desire to be great and I think it's rubbing off on the guys."

When the Seahawks (5-1) host the Ravens, first and foremost it will be a meeting of talented teams off to stellar starts a season removed from playoff berths. The added storyline of a little bad blood certainly doesn't damage the intrigue.

Thomas' one-finger salute in his hobbled departure it's safe to say wasn't the way anyone wanted one of the Seahawks' all-time best to bid adieu. However, it has done nothing to hinder the way he's said hello to his new franchise and acclimated himself.

"I think you just go by what you see," Harbaugh said. "I think as a coach that's what you go by, by what you see. That's all you can do. I see pretty good with Earl Thomas, right now. Pretty darn good."

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