By Danny O'Neil
RENTON – Cornerback Richard Sherman believes the NFL Defensive Player of the Year should come from Seattle. He doesn't necessarily think it should be him, though, instead pointing to Earl Thomas.
Seahawks defensive backs Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman are both candidates for the defensive player of the year award. (AP)
No doubt about that. Thomas has 72 solo tackles, which is the most on the team. He has intercepted five passes, which is second-most on the Seahawks.
But more than anything, Thomas' range is the key to Seattle's defense, allowing the Seahawks to keep just Thomas back, confident his speed allows him to provide help from sideline to sideline.
"I don't think there's anybody out there playing better defense," Sherman said. "I think our defense is No. 1 in the league. Usually, the quarterback with the best record and the best receivers isn't punished for that, so don't punish one of the best players on the best defense.
"I think he should get it."
Only two Seahawks have ever been named the league's top defensive player: safety Kenny Easley in 1984 and defensive lineman Cortez Kennedy in 1992.
The award is determined by a postseason ballot of 50 voters selected by the Associated Press.
Feeling a draft
The depth of Seattle's secondary is amazing not just because Seattle's pass defense has continued to improve in spite of the losses of Brandon Browner and Walter Thurmond, but because of where the Seahawks have found that depth.
In general manager John Schneider's four years in Seattle, the Seahawks have never selected a cornerback any higher than the fourth round.
Sherman was asked Thursday what the key to that success has been.
"It helps when you don't listen to the idiots in the draft room," he said.
"When you don't listen to the idiots, you find players like Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell and myself ... The list goes on," he said. "But if you sit there and you listen to the idiots like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay and things like that, you miss a lot of good players."
• WR Bryan Walters has been promoted from Seattle's practice squad to the active roster, taking the place of suspended CB Brandon Browner. Walters, a graduate of Juanita High School in Kirkland, spent time on Seattle's roster earlier this season, appearing in three games.
• The Seahawks who did not practice Thursday were LB K.J. Wright (foot), WR Percy Harvin (hip), RG J.R. Sweezy (concussion), and CB Jeremy Lane (ankle). TE Zach Miller and RB Robert Turbin were limited participants.