Ravens and safety Earl Thomas learning how to grow together

Jonas Shaffer, The Baltimore Sun on

Published in Football

Defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale's read-and-react system has demanded much the same from Thomas, who was frank in acknowledging that he hadn't found much pleasure in sinking his teeth into the defense's nuances. But he believes the work will pay off, as it did last season for the Ravens' top-ranked defense, and Martindale said that "you're starting to see him more and more get comfortable in the system and make plays."

"He looks like he understands the defense," Harbaugh said. "He looks crisp and sharp. He has been moving really well. He looks really good to me. I'm really excited about him -- him and Tony back there together. The whole secondary looks good."

Last week's minicamp was light on highlights for Thomas, as it was for many of the big names on the Ravens defense. His limited repetitions surely had something to do with that. So, too, did the reluctance of the team's quarterbacks to look downfield in seven-on-seven and 11-on-11 action.

But if he's misjudged a play, someone has let him know, Thomas said. He's not so intense that he can't take a pointer from a veteran or a coach. He's determined to get comfortable.

Even if, outwardly, he might never look it.


"In the locker room, guys ... they're starting to understand me, and vice versa," Thomas said. "These are my type of guys. This is the locker room that I want to be a part of."

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