The Return of Kam

Kam Chancellor has returned to Seattle Seahawks practice. The greater questions of how the holdout will affect the team and whether the Seahawks will “give an inch” in any negotiations are now moot. What matters now is that the Seahawks need to go win some games.

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How does Chancellor returning change the defense?

Communication in the secondary has been a major issue. The Seahawks have given up 11 plays of 20+ yards this season. This just does not happen to Seattle. Chancellor’s return gives the defense – and the team as a whole – an intimidating presence on the field, a strong voice in the locker room, an excellent coverage safety, run support help and should clear immediately almost any on-field communication issues. The Seahawks chose not to play cornerback Richard Sherman much in the preseason, could not play safety Earl Thomas as he was still recovering from injury, corner Cary Williams was new to the team, nickelback Jeremy Lane is still out with injury, and safeties Dion Bailey and DeShawn Shead are better as backups. This means the Seahawks were still getting used to one another as the season opened, and it showed in poor play. Chancellor coming back adds a stabilizing influence, and the secondary should improve upon his return.

Seattle may still have lost to Green Bay on the road. The Packers are a very good team. Aaron Rodgers, though, took advantage of open intermediate middle-of-the-field space – space normally occupied by Chancellor – so the game was made easier for the Packers because Kam was not on the field.

Seattle would not have lost to the Rams. The Rams made some throws, especially to the tight end Jared Cook, that usually are not there with Chancellor on the field. It may have still been a very close game, but remember how the Rams scored their late 37-yard touchdown pass to tie the game: Bailey fell down and was not aware enough to simply take a penalty and tackle wide-open receiver Lance Kendricks. Chancellor does not fall down on that play. The Rams do not score a touchdown. The Seahawks win.

He may not be able to be an offensive lineman and improve the blocking, but the Seahawks scored enough points to beat the Rams. The might have even scored enough to beat the Packers. Chancellor’s return should assure that other teams will score less.

What will fan reaction be like?

Just an assumption, but 12s will probably be extremely happy with Chancellor’s return. He returns at a good time. Fans are going to be ready for the first home game of the season as it is, so Chancellor being on the field should only add to the fervor. Moreover, there should be an expectation that both fans and team are as emotionally engaged during Sunday’s game as they have been in any game this year. Chancellor is the emotional leader of the defense, and that may be where the Seahawks have missed him most. He is, simply, the Boom in the Legion of Boom. Chancellor may have been getting bad advice about holding out and the team has wandered, but he has returned to lead the Seahawks out of the wilderness. A new season begins today.