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Focus on: Kam Chancellor
In 2011, his first season as the Seahawks’ starting strong safety, Kam Chancellor ended up playing in the Pro Bowl after intercepting four passes and making 94 tackles.
In 2012, Chancellor finished third in tackles (91) for a defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL and ranked a franchise-best No. 4 in average yards allowed.
In 2013, Chancellor, a fifth-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, is even better.
All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas mentioned it after Chancellor had made a fourth-quarter interception in Sunday’s 45-17 thumping of the Jacksonville Jaguars at CenturyLink Field. It was Chancellor’s second interception in as many weeks, and he also has 14 tackles to rank third on the team behind middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (24) and Thomas (19).
“Kam has been playing great, and that was a helluva play,” Thomas said. “He already was a tackling machine and now you can tell the game has slowed down for him because he’s playing so fast.”
Told of the comments by Thomas and Torres in the locker room at Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Monday morning, Chancellor just smiled.
First up, Thomas’ assessment about the game slowing down for Chancellor in his third season as the starter.
“Yeah, that’s true,” Chancellor said. “But that comes with a lot of preparation. Everybody in the secondary watches a lot of film, so we’re very aware of route combinations. We try to pick out all the tendencies and tips that we can on film. Once you see it in the game, you’ve got to make the play and make the most of the opportunity.”
So it goes beyond the pre-snap read of the formations to what’s going on during the play.
“It’s pre-snap and while the play is going on. It’s all that stuff,” Chancellor said. “It’s hard to explain it, but once you see it you can play faster.”
Now, about that Easley comparison. Chancellor is from Norfolk, Va., and Easley lives in Chesapeake, but now lives in Norfolk. In fact, Chancellor dated Easley’s daughter while in high school.
“I visited their house and actually met him,” Chancellor said. “I didn’t know who it was at first.”
He does now. A huge banner of Easley hangs above the hallway that separates the locker room from the indoor practice facility at VMAC. Easley’s name is included among those in the Ring of Honor at CenturyLink Field. Easley was NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1984, when he intercepted 10 passes; and AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1981, when he made 107 tackles. He was voted to five Pro Bowls in his seven-season career that was cut short by a kidney ailment.
“I hear only good things about him, so why not look up to a guy like that?” Chancellor said. “He was a force to be reckoned with. So it’s a big compliment to be compared to a player like him.”