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Seahawks' young safeties a major team strength

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted Sept. 24, 2011 @ 10:29 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Looking for some positives in a Seahawks season that has already had more than its share of disappointments?

We suggest looking at the starting safeties first.

The consensus not only among daily team observers but around the league is that SS Kam Chancellor and FS Earl Thomas —  nicknamed "Thunder" and "Lightning," respectively — could become the NFL's most electrifying safety tandem.

"They've both been real good early, flying all over the field and making plays (32 tackles combined the first two games)," one source on the scene told PFW. "If you were to draw up the prototypes at strong and free safety, they would be the guys."

Thomas, one of two first-round draft picks a year ago, made an excellent impression as a rookie, using his blazing speed and exceptional first step to register five interceptions, matching the franchise record for rookies.

"Earl is a fantastic talent," Seahawks secondary coach Kris Richard told PFW. "The one thing you notice about him is how incrediby athletic he is. He's the sparkplug of our team."

Chancellor, a fifth-round pick who arrived on the scene last season with much less fanfare than Thomas, spent more time as a rookie learning the ropes from veteran SS Lawyer Milloy than making an impact on the field. But his imposing physical presence was evident when he was on the field.

"When you consider a man of his stature (6-3, 232), you can't help but be surprised at how athletic he really is," Richard said of Chancellor. "He's got great football savvy and is a real thumper out there.

"Both Cam and Earl are very committed players, determined to leave an impact on the game, and they know hitting people is one of the biggest components along those lines."

Team sources rave about Chancellor's natural charisma and the way the Seattle players just seem to gravitate to him. Could he be another Milloy-type leader in the making?

"He does have that potential," Richard said. "As long as he continues to mature and develops his game legs, per se, he will grow into that role. He absolutely leads by example and looks for the right opportunities to reach everybody."

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