Pete Carroll on Earl Thomas: ‘He should be here and he’s not’

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 05: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks congratulates free safety Earl Thomas #29 near the end of the game against the Carolina Panthers at Qwest Field on December 5, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks defeated the Panthers 31-14. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

RENTON, Wash. – How does Pete Carroll feel about Earl Thomas’ absence from the first day of traning camp?

Pretty much exactly how’d you think.

“He’s been here for a long time, and we always expect him to be here,” the Seattle Seahawks’ coach said after practice at the VMAC on Thursday afternoon. “That’s kind of how it is. He should be here and he’s not.”

After months of reports and statements from Thomas himself, the All Pro free safety made it official as the Seahawks practiced for the first time Thursday morning. Thomas is entering the final year of his contract, and he’s asked the team to either extend his deal or sign him away.

“We’re expecting him back,” Carroll said. “He’s under contract.”

With Thomas missing, the clear leader of the defense is now middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. Wagner and Carroll both said they’d spend training camp focusing on the players who did show up and try to minimize the distraction from Thomas’ absence.

“He has our support, but we’ve got to focus on who’s here,” Wagner said. “We’ve got to make sure those guys get right, and make sure we’re doing everything we can for the guys that are here.”

It was a busy news day for the Seahawks, as they announced they’d placed Kam Chancellor on injured reserve, and waived former second-round pick Malik McDowell.

Chancellor, of course, famously held out himself prior to the 2015 season.

Wagner remembers Thomas’ holdout well.

“I think the last time, we were relatively still young and we hadn’t necessarily dealt with that per se on our side of the ball,” he said. “I feel like there was a lot of focus on whether or not he was going to come or not come. I think this time around, we need to focus on who’s here, and focus on making sure we hit the ground running. We’re not trying to focus on who’s not here and what they’re doing. We’ve got to play the game. As you get older you understand this is a crazy business, but it is what it is and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.”