It’s safe–and at first, counterintuitive– to assume that this week, Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor will be preparing for a playoff matchup with the Carolina Panthers by watching tape of the Washington Redskins.
Of course, as detailed most recently in an article on the Seahawks team website, there’s a method to Chancellor’s habits.
Specifically, he studies highlights of Sean Taylor, the legendary Redskins safety who played nearly four years before his untimely death in 2007.
“Before every game I’ve got to watch him,” Chancellor said before their matchup with the Redskins this past October. “It just puts more aggression into me, man. Just like, ‘Boom’ – this is what I’ve got to do. I watch it and say, ‘This is what I’ve got to do every game.’ ”
Chancellor, who, like Taylor, has gone to the Pro Bowl twice, grew up in Norfolk, Va., and eventually went to college at Virginia Tech. It was easy to follow and become inspired by Taylor; it was equally devastating to hear about his tragic death playing in just his second collegiate season.
“It was tough because I knew I wasn’t going to get a chance to meet him,” Chancellor said. “That was one of the guys I wanted a chance to meet and try to get some insight from, think like he thinks, pick his brain a little bit. But unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to.”
It’s motivated the hard-hitting safety, who stands at 6-foot-2 and 232 pounds, to make sure his legacy mimics Taylor’s. He’s more willing to connect with other players, to teach them and give back as much of his experience and knowledge as he can.
“The way he showed his passion for the game and the way that he used his God-given ability,” Chancellor said of Taylor’s memory. “He was blessed to be tall, blessed to be strong, blessed to run fast, and he used every bit of his body in his game.”
As this illustrated Instagram picture demonstrates, Taylor remains inside Chancellor in every game he plays.
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