The Seattle Seahawks lost one of thier hardest hitting players and most respected player to ever put on a Seahawks uniform Sunday when Safety Kam Chancellor announced via Twitter that he was walking away from the game he loved due to lingering neck injury that prevented him from obtaining medical clearance.
A fifth-round draft pick in 2010 ( Earl Thomas was taken in the first round the same year) Chancellor became the leader of one of the most dominant defenses in NFL history that was anchored by one of the greatest defensive backfields to ever step on the back end of any NFL team. That defensive backfield of Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Brandon Browner, and Chancellor helped coined the phrase Legion of Boom due to the hard hits the whole defense inflicted on opposing offenses.
The LOB’s earliest crowing achievement was the shutting down of the Peyton Manning-led Broncos in a 43-8 Super Bowl XLVIII win. In that game, Chancellor had six tackles and interception. Despite a stellar performance by Chancellor, Linebacker Malcolm Smith was named MVP of the game due to his 69yard pick-six, a fumble recovery, and nine tackles.
Many players have and will wear the Seahawks uniform but none will ever wear it with the class and grace Chancellor did. While Chancellor was a fierce hard hitting player who earned the nickname BAM BAM due to his bone jarring hits, he was a deeply religious, private and humble individual who led by example.
In 2017 after signing his third contract with the Seahawks Chancellor was asked about his leadership style with the Seahawks.
“It’s a lead by example type of view, but also you gotta show your scars. You gotta talk to the guys and also when you see what they’re doing wrong, you gotta correct them in the best way possible, ” said Chancellor.” You know without hurting egos. So once you learn all your guys – you know how to talk to each one of them. Just show them by example, but you’ve also got to talk to them.”
Chancellor suffered a neck stinger in the Seahawks November 9th game with the Arizona Cardinals and never received the medical clearance he was hoping to receive. In his tweet Chancellor once again showed his human side when he said, ” To walk away from the game by choice is one thing, to walk away from the game because of the risk of paralysis is another. My final test showed no healing.”
Like any smart organization, the Seahawks knew that the LOB would not last forever and they began the process of rebuilding their defense when they drafted four defensive backs in the 2017 draft. Chancellor was asked what he thought about the Seahawks drafting four defensive backs.
““I thought that, Kam it’s time to do a lot of coaching. You know a lot of new guys coming in and it’s time to put the coaching hat on. The system, is the system. It’s the same system it’s been the whole time. It’s really not anything new to me, ” said Chancellor.
” From me developing my fundamentals and I sharpen my skills and learning what offenses are trying to do to us as well as learning my skills. But also, coaching helps me learn more and more, little by little. Things that I don’t see, things that I catch on from year to year. So helping guys coming in now, the guys behind us, the young guys coming in, the guys who’ve come from other teams. I think it’s just another step to the process of me evolving to a better player.”