Want to see if Kam Chancellor made the NFL’s top 20 Defensive Backs list? Click here to find out
The News Tribune
Seattle Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor faces a dilemma every time he sizes up a receiver for a big hit when he crosses the middle of the field.
Deliver a blow, and he’ll likely be writing another hefty check to the league for a personal-foul penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
Let the receiver catch it and tackle him for a big gain, and he passes on an important opportunity to send a message that receivers can’t catch the ball in the middle of Seattle’s physical secondary without paying a price.
The second-year pro out of Virginia Tech was called for a personal foul for a helmet-to-helmet hit Sunday on St. Louis tight end Lance Kendricks. It was Chancellor’s second such penalty in two weeks.
Chancellor appeared to move his head and deliver a blow with his shoulder, which is the way the league wants defensive players to hit what it considers helpless receivers in a vulnerable position.
However, Kendricks ducked his head before the moment of impact to adjust to a low pass from quarterback Sam Bradford – ducking right into the path of Chancellor’s shoulder pads.
Chancellor’s hit achieved the desired affect – Kendrick dropped the ball. Kendrick remained on the ground for several minutes as St. Louis trainers tended to him.
Chancellor told reporters after practice on Wednesday that he was fined by the league for the play.
“I was kind of mad,” Chancellor said when asked about his reaction to the penalty. “Because, I mean, it’s my second one back-to-back. I mean none of it is intentionally trying to hit a guy in the helmet.”
Chancellor said on the hit against Kendricks he worked to get his head out of the way, but the receiver went down to get the ball, changing his aiming point.
“Being a tall DB like I am, I was aiming for the guy’s chest,” Chancellor said. “While he was falling on the way down, I turned my head to the side like they asked me to do from the previous week and led with my shoulder. And when he fell down, his head went into my shoulder, and that’s the call. And they were looking for that call, so that’s what happened.”
Chancellor would not divulge how much he was fined but said he would appeal both fines.
In the previous game, Chancellor was flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Baltimore receiver Anquan Boldin, which resulted in a concussion for Chancellor. The league fined Chancellor $20,000.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll has been quick to emphasize that Chancellor is not a dirty player and that Seattle’s coaching staff is not teaching him to play outside the rules.
“Everyone knows what the rules are, and everybody knows what the ramifications are,” Carroll said. “It doesn’t fit the game to do this, and so we’re trying to learn how to fit a new way to play and guys are making errors in that regard.
“We don’t want anybody to get hurt, ever. But the practicality of it – it’s not as easy as people might think when you’re in a competitive mode and it’s everything you can do to get to make the play you’re supposed to make. You’ve got to get there as soon as you can ,and when you’re accelerating, you’re leaning forward, and the first thing that gets there is your helmet. That’s unfortunate ,but that’s how it goes. So we just have to learn that instinct to try to turn – turn your head away.”
Chancellor has made the successful transition to a starter after watching veteran Lawyer Milloy as a rookie last year. Chancellor leads the team in interceptions with three, has eight pass deflections and is fourth on the team in tackles with 56.
With Chancellor playing next to free safety Earl Thomas, Seattle has one of the more talented young safety tandems in the league.
“He’s just a banger – that’s what he does,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately, that’s the rules that have been set for the game. I don’t think that’s going to change his play any. That’s just his mentality.”
Chancellor – who has been called for four personal fouls for helmet-to-helmet hits this season – agreed.
“They ask me to compete,” Chancellor said. “They tell me to stay in the middle of the field and protect the middle. So I’m going to compete like I know how to. Try to hit it as correctly as they want me to and just play the game like I know how to.”
For Seattle, defensive tackle Alan Branch (ankle), cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) and receivers Ben Obomanu (knee/ankle) and Sidney Rice (knee) did not participate in practice on Wednesday. Quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (pectoral) was a limited participant. Safety Atari Bigby (hamstring) and defensive end Anthony Hargrove (hamstring) were full participants. … For Washington, linebacker London Fletcher (ankle) and receiver Niles Paul (toe) did not practice. Offensive tackle Jammal Brown (groin), safety DeJon Gomes (knee), offensive guard Maurice Hurt (knee), cornerback Josh Wilson (hamstring) and offensive tackles Sean Locklear (ankle) and Trent Williams (knee) were limited participants. Linebacker Keyaron Fox (infection), safety LaRon Landry (Achilles), receiver Santana Moss (hand) and receiver Donte Stallworth (foot) were full participants.
Eric D. Williams: 253-597-8437
Seattle Times-Seahawks Blog
Time: 1:15 left in the game.
Score: Seattle 13, Arizona 10.
Situation: Cardinals ball, third-and-13 at the Seattle 36.
Strong safety Kam Chancellor saw it coming.
That’s why he was able to jump in front of Arizona tight end Todd Heap for the game-clinching interception.
How he knew, though, is an explanation that shows not only how much study goes into preparing to play an NFL game, but how pivotal that preparation can be in the outcome.
What did he see?
“It’s kind of hard to explain without saying football terms,” Chancellor said in the locker room after the victory.
Fair enough, try us.
Start with the formation. The Cardinals had a 1-1 personnel package, which denotes a group with one tight end, one running back and three wide receivers. Larry Fitzgerald was lined up off to the left on the short side of the field, Andre Roberts was the outside receiver to the right of quarterback Kevin Kolb.
Tight end Todd Heap was lined up just off tackle on Roberts’ side and receiver Early Doucet was lined up between Heap and Roberts.
Running back Chester Taylor came in motion on the play, and returned to the backfield to pass block.
Seattle was in its dime defense, cornerback Walter Thurmond at the line of scrimmage across from Heap.
It’s when the ball is snapped that things got interesting.
First, Thurmond blitzed.
“It was a fire zone we had,” Chancellor said. “It was a pressure.”
Chancellor stepped up and prepared to take Doucet, who was the receiver lined up just outside of Heap. Instead, Doucet turned sharply to his left, cutting across the field and under Seattle’s linebackers. This was the key moment in the play because two Seahawks reacted. First, linebacker David Hawthorne turned abruptly to follow Doucet, but it was what Chancellor saw that determined the course of the play.
“I saw the No. 2 go under,” Chancellor said.”I knew the No. 3 receiver was going to come right over the top of me.”
That was when recognition kicked in.
“It was something I’ve seen on film,” Chancellor said. “And I just jumped it.”
Heap never had a chance. Before he even realized it, Chancellor leapt in front of him to intercept the ball and was headed the other way.
Chancellor was Seattle’s “other” rookie safety last year, someone who played on special teams while Earl Thomas stepped into a starting role. This year, Chancellor is making a name for himself.
“I’ve been telling everyone since preseason when they gave him the starting job, that he’s a special player,” Thomas said. “We got a steal when we got him. He can run, and he can play in the box. We’re interchangeable.”
Chancellor was chosen in the fifth round by Seattle in the 2010 draft, and the Seahawks’ faith in him was a reason the team did not re-sign Lawyer Milloy.
“He’s going to make tough plays,” coach Pete Carroll. “I thought that was a great interception, cutting in front and stealing the ball at such a critical time. It was really a cool play. But I think he’s just getting started, he’s just getting going.”
Congratulations to Kam on being selected the UltimateSeahawksFan.com midseason MVP. Click to read article