By Brady Henderson
Kam Chancellor has changed his body, but he doesn’t plan on changing the physical style that came with mixed results last season.
The Seahawks’ Pro Bowl safety says he is a little lighter now, having reduced the portions of an already healthy diet. He weighs 226 pounds now and plans to be around 229 when the season begins, down about three pounds from his playing weight last season.
“I’m trying to stay light to where I can run fast but also still have a little weight to keep that boom,” he told “Bob and Groz” on Thursday.
Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor delivered plenty of big hits in 2011, his first season as a starter. (AP)
“That boom” refers to Chancellor’s penchant for big hits. He had a few of them in 2011, his first season as a starter. The notoriety that resulted helped Chancellor make the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement, earn a reputation as one of the league’s most imposing safeties and put second thoughts into opposing receivers.
They also came with a price – $60,000, to be exact. That’s the total amount Chancellor is believed to have been fined by the NFL for a pair of plays it deemed illegal. A helmet-to-helmet hit on Baltimore’s Anquan Boldin left Chancellor with a $20,000 fine (and a concussion). He was reportedly fined double that amount for a similar hit he put on St. Louis’ Lance Kendricks the following week.
There was also a block he threw during an interception return that sent Arizona’s Todd Heap flying. That hit, which some argued was perfectly clean, incurred a 15-yard penalty. So did his sack of Cleveland’s Colt McCoy, a ruling that coach Pete Carroll took exception to.
Chancellor will have to adjust, but he won’t change the type of player he is.
“No, not at all. I’m gonna bring that boom continuously. I’m gonna always do that because that’s my game,” he said. “I just have to be smart about how I do it. I can’t lead with my head. A couple of hits I probably led with my head and now I know just to be conscious of my shoulder, bring my shoulder before my head. So as long as I know I’m leading with my shoulder and hitting in the correct spots I think I’ll be alright.”
As Chancellor knows, that’s easier said than done.
His hit on Kendricks is a perfect example. The Rams’ tight end was falling to the ground while trying to make a catch and the two collided just after the ball reached Kendricks’ hands. There was no time for an adjustment.
“They always go back and review the hits in slow motion,” he said. “This game is not played in slow motion.”
For all the attention Chancellor got for his hitting, he also picked off four passes, tied for second most on the team. Two of those interceptions sealed wins over the Giants and Cardinals.
As well as he played in 2011, it’s easy to forget that Chancellor is entering just his third NFL season and only his second as a starter.
“A lot of things slowed down for me this year,” he said. “Basically, I’m coming out here to practice [and] I’m more concerned about route concepts and what the offense is running besides me getting myself lined up and knowing what everybody’s doing on defense. I’ve kind of got the feel for that already. So I’m going to try to take my game to another level now.”