Seattle Seahawks ponder how close they came

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Earl Thomas sat at his locker with Earl Thomas Jersey his head hanging in his hands. 

The Seattle Seahawks safety didn't move; he just stared into the locker. Thomas' teammates hurried past him, already showered and dressed, ready to put Sunday behind them and get back to Seattle. 

They passed Thomas, not even glancing at him, as he sat in the wake of a 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday night. While other Seahawks were leaving in suits, Thomas was still wearing his football pants, socks and cleats. 

He was in no rush to take them off. 

Justin Britt clapped loudly. 

J.R. Sweezy grabbed his locker. 

Many Seahawks just sat there, on their phones, texting and scrolling through social media. 

Everyone was coping in his own way. The team's second-straight NFL championship was 3 feet away. But instead of a touchdown and title, the Seahawks were left with an interception and loss. 

“It’s tough,” defensive tackle Kevin Williams said. “I don’t know. You kinda feel like a sense of, ‘We let them off the hook.' Really, to tell you the truth, I don’t know. I just play, man.” 

For a while, Richard Sherman sat next to Thomas, also staring. He was eventually ushered out to answer questions about his elbow and why a pass was called instead of a run from the 1-yard line. Before he left, Sherman and Seattle wide receiver Chris Matthews embraced. At one point, Britt went over to Sherman and talked for a few minutes. 

While Sherman was gone, Thomas ate his James Harden Authentic Jersey postgame meal and drank a Gatorade, still dressed from the waist down in his uniform.