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Falcons' Keanu Neal hopes to team up with Seahawks' Kam Chancellor again

Falcons safety Keanu Neal has worked on improving his speed this offseason. Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- If the scheduling works out, Atlanta Falcons strong safety Keanu Neal plans to work out with mentor Kam Chancellor in Virginia before training camp begins.

However, Chancellor has some other business to attend to that's a bit more important.

"That's the plan, but he's getting married," Neal said of Chancellor. "So, we'll see how that goes."

Neal worked out with the Seattle Seahawks safety last year and those sessions obviously paid off. Neal came into the league carrying the same hard-hitting style that is Chancellor's signature. Many folks said Neal would be the Chancellor of Dan Quinn's defense, as Chancellor was an enforcer when Quinn was the defensive coordinator in Seattle. Neal finished his rookie season with 105 total tackles and five forced fumbles.

Chancellor certainly took note of Neal's play, particularly after a fan posted a side-by-side video of one of Chancellor's hits compared to one of Neal's crushing blows.

"It's cool, man," Neal said of being acknowledged by Chancellor. "Great dude. That's a guy that I looked up to and watched play from high school. He's like a mentor to me."

Quinn naturally supports Neal training with Chancellor. And Quinn continues to see a rise in Neal's performance, including an emphasis on improving middle-of-the-field coverage.

"He plays so much down by the line of scrimmage that the 20 percent of the time that he's back, he wanted to have that part of his range in order," Quinn said of Neal. "What I saw from him this spring was increased speed. ... He looks faster than he has been, and that's usually when it shows up -- in the middle of the field -- because you have such a long way to go."