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Falcons' Keanu Neal keeping Kam Chancellor jersey in locker


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Vaughn McClureESPN Staff Writer

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons rookie strong safety Keanu Neal'sbrotherly relationship with Seattle Seahawks veteran strong safety Kam Chancellor won't change just because they'll battle one another Saturday in the divisional playoff.

Neal, who worked out with Chancellor this season, has a signed Chancellor jersey hanging in his locker.


Neal was asked if he plans to remove the jersey, considering the circumstances.

"Nah," Neal said. "I'll just leave it in there. ... The brotherhood is bigger than football. It's not going against the Seahawks and everything like this. We're brothers. I don't see it as, 'OK, it's Seahawks, so I've got to hide it.' It's Kam Chancellor. It's a brother to me."

Neal said Chancellor's written message basically wished him success on his NFL journey.

"We text from time to time, just to stay in touch and everything," Neal said. "And he's helped me out football-wise, and off the field as well. It's a brotherhood. He's huge on helping people. He's big on, 'Each one, teach one,' just being able to help everybody. And he's definitely helped me a lot."

The Falcons envisioned Neal playing with the same hard-hitting style as Chancellor in a defense coach Dan Quinn has brought over from Seattle. Neal has lived up to that physical reputation, finishing second on the team with 105 combined tackles and forcing five fumbles.

Chancellor sat out injured when the Seahawks defeated the Falcons 26-24 in Week 6 of the regular season.

"He's a factor," Quinn said of Chancellor, a guy he coached while serving as the Seahawks' defensive coordinator. "It's the physicality that he plays with."


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1 minute ago, Kaptain Krazy said:

The friendships and mutual respect that players from different teams have with and for each other is difficult for fans to understand because we don't make the sacrifices to play the game the way they do.

I'm glad Keanu has a mentor that is a bad mutha.

Yep. And Beasley has Von Miller. Not bad. 

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The good thing about Chancellor is that he's also smart in how he plays. There's a reason that Neal is able to lay the wood to opponents without knocking himself out. Coaches can preach technique all day long but sometimes it has to be preached by somebody else who did it the right way and excelled.

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