If you heard a collective sigh of relief rush through the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday morning, rest assured it had nothing to do with the President of China’s motorcade heading North. As quickly as a Starbucks can misspell your name, news spread that Seattle’s beloved safety, Kam Chancellor, had ended his contract holdout and returned to the team. Chancellor’s return ended nearly two months of a negotiation stalemate with Seattle and came at a time when, for the first time since 2011, the Seahawks started their season with a disappointing record of 0-2.
Seattle fans knew that the Seahawks were slated to start the 2015 season with a tough two-game road trip. Games against the Rams and Packers, especially on their home turf, have historically been tough for the green and blue from the NW. But after big contracts (Russell Wilson), big acquisitions (Jimmy Graham) and a team that has been to the Super Bowl the last two years, a record of 0-2 seemed to startle many of the 12s. The disappointing start came with cries of questionable play calling, underutilization of Graham’s talents, and talk of a team that seemed out of sync.
And so, it seems, Chancellor’s return could not have come at a better time. Notably a leader both on and off the field, Kam’s teammates seemed to embrace his return with open arms. Missing in Chancellor’s absence was the tough mental and physical play he brings to every game. In week one, replacement Dion Bailey slipped while covering Rams tight end Lance Kendricks, allowing them to tie up the game on a last minute TD. The Seahawks eventually lost to St. Louis in overtime. And while no one player should be blamed for the Seahawks loss, the unfortunate slip only seemed to highlight Kam’s absence.
But now that the three-time Pro Bowler and noted team leader returns to the field, can Seattle reverse the tide? For the next few games, at least, it seems the odds are stacked in their favor. The schedule will soften drastically over the coming weeks, including back to back home games against the struggling Bears and Lions. Additionally, two of the next three road games are against the ever-imploding San Francisco 49ers and a Romo-less Cowboys team in Dallas.
And while both sides are keeping mum about the details of Chancellor’s return, Kam said he will deal with business at the end of the season. As he stated to the press on Wednesday, it was simply “time to come back”.
As a Seattle fan, I couldn’t agree more.