Earl Thomas happy about returning punts

RENTON, Wash. -- After all the speculation in preseason about whether All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas really would be the punt returner for the Seahawks this season, and all the debate about whether he should be, Thomas said he’s ready to go.

“I get to play punt returner and free safety," Thomas said Tuesday. “I get to play both ways. This is what I did in high school, so it just feels good to be on the ultimate stage like this and have that opportunity.”

His first official chance comes Thursday night in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field. Thomas was asked how many touchdowns he thinks he can score this season returning punts.

“I’m not putting a limit on anything,” he said. “I just want to be the best and have fun. I know when I get the ball in my hand I’ll make something happen, though.”

He hopes the same thing isn’t true for Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers on Thursday night.

“The biggest thing that he does that’s so great is he’s able to create with his legs,” Thomas said of Rodgers. “He hitches up and scrambles, maybe to his right, and his receivers do a great job at keeping the play alive.

“So we have to make sure our eyes are right. We can’t get lost in the backfield, because if we do that, that’s how big plays are being created. But that never happens with us. We understand our jobs.”