SEATTLE -- Earl Thomas turns it on when he takes the field. The Seahawks Free Safety had five interceptions and 100 tackles this season becoming only the 6th player in club history to do so. Seattle is home to the best defense in the league and there is no doubt that this team wouldn't be what it is without him.
“Earl’s an extraordinary football player and an extraordinary personality on this football team because he is a tremendous competitor and so without him we would be different, he that’s unique," said Pete Carroll.
With the Hawks on the verge of their second Super Bowl trip, it's hard to imagine that one woman's brave decision gave Seattle this piece to the winning puzzle.
“I went to the doctor and found out that I had cancer and the doctors told me not only do I have cancer, that I only had six months to live,” said Debbie Thomas, Earl’s mother.
Debbie Thomas was diagnosed with cervical cancer when she was just 27 years old. Doctors said her best chance of survival was a hysterectomy, but that would mean never having children.
“They scheduled me to have a hysterectomy, which I refused to have and the day that they scheduled the hysterectomy, may 13th was the day they found out no malignant malignancy," said Debbie.
Debbie credits her faith for getting her through and almost a year later she and her husband, Earl Thomas Jr., found out they were expecting a baby boy.
“Not only is he my miracle, but my husband and my miracle. He is such an exceptional kid, even through his growing up, I always told him Earl, God has special plans for your life," said Debbie.
And it's with that mentality that Earl strives for greatness everyday of his life.
“Obviously Coach Carroll wants big guys and I made him change his mind about me cause I bring so much to the game, but you gotta have a certain confidence about yourself, not cockiness but you know confidence and I think that’s what we all bring to the table,” said Earl Thomas.
“I’m very proud of Earl and his success and one thing about him, he pursues his dreams and I tell him all the time, the sky is the limit, so I’m blessed," said Debbie.
And so are the Seahawks.
“Earl has a big impact he so just consistently on it. He really lifts up other guys play," said Carroll.