(WAVY) – He’s big enough to be a linebacker, but Norfolk native Kam Chancellor is also fast enough to be a cornerback. Come Sunday, when the Seahawks defend their NFL title against the New England Patriots, the former Norfolk football star will play his normal safety position.
That means Chancellor will have one of the most talked about, and hopefully entertaining, matchups of the game: he’ll cover the Patriots All-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is the favorite receiver of future hall of fame quarterback Tom Brady.
“We do have an excellent opportunity to match up as good as anybody because our guys, our outside backers are pretty tall and long, which they need to be, and [yet] they’re still smaller than he is,” said Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. “And Kam Chancellor is about as big of a strong safety as you can find.”
A former quarterback at Maury High School, Chancellor moved to defense at Virginia Tech. The Hokies famed defensive coordinator Bud Foster said he believed one of the reasons Chancellor played the safety so well is that he thought like a quarterback.
Now 6-foot-3 and 232 pounds, fans around the nation were shocked when they saw Chancellor’s incredible speed returning an interception 90 yards in a divisional playoff game against the Carolina Panthers. I mention the speed because it will come in handy while covering Gronkowski.
“It’s just about bodies on bodies,” Coach Carroll continued. “We’ll have to play him a number of different ways to have a chance to slow him down. They’ll get the ball to him, it’s just how effective it will be. We have to do a terrific job of it because if we don’t, then he can control the football game.”
“He’s definitely a big, physical guy,” Chancellor said of Gronkowski. “But it’s just big on big. You play big on big.”
And they don’t get any bigger than the Super Bowl.
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