"Kam's a great player, and he’s done it at a high level every year he’s been in the league," Rodgers said. "He’s very instinctive, and he makes plays on the ball whether he’s clocking a guy; he’s got very good hands to make interceptions. He’s a talented guy. Like us, with Jordy [Nelson] being gone, the next guy up has to step up, and everybody has to kind of pick up the slack, and they’ve got to fill in for him."
Nelson, of course, is sidelined with an ACL injury, and Chancellor continues to hold out.
Rodgers can spread the ball around, as he did in the season opener, to make up for Nelson’s absence. Defense, however, is a different animal. Quarterbacks make a living off identifying mismatches and targeting players over and over again.
In other words, Chancellor’s fill-in, Dion Bailey, should expect to get picked on early and often when Seattle visits Green Bay on Sunday. In Seattle's Week 1 overtime loss to the Rams, Bailey gave up the game-tying 37-yard touchdown with 59 seconds left.
"I just want him to play like he’s capable of playing," said Seattle coach Pete Carroll. "I’m not asking for anything different than that. ... There’s a couple plays that got away from him, the one where he stumbles, and there’s a couple things he could’ve done. Everybody has plays like that. His just happened right at the end of the game on the big play."
Bailey wasn’t the only defender who had miscues in Week 1. The Seahawks gave up eight pass plays of 20-plus yards. They allowed 32 all of last season. This was against a Rams offense starting a new quarterback, Nick Foles, who was without his top two running backs and a starting wide receiver. St. Louis also played two rookies on the offensive line.
Now Seattle faces a well-oiled Packers machine with Rodgers, RB Eddie Lacy and an offensive line that did not allow a sack in the opener.
Asked if Chancellor’s absence is affecting the Seahawks, cornerback Richard Sherman said: "Not really. I think last week, it was more missed tackles, guys that usually make tackles missed a couple. I think we were a bit rusty; there were some communication issues, some personnel issues that we didn’t get addressed. I don’t think that if Kam Chancellor was here, we don’t make those same mistakes. I think guys just have to tackle better, have to communicate better."
Bailey brings a linebacker’s mentality to the strong safety position. Don’t be surprised if Rodgers tries to isolate him in man coverage, just as the Rams did on their game-tying touchdown.
Carroll said Wednesday that the only thing that can change with Chancellor is for him to decide to show up. The team is not negotiating with him.
If Rodgers picks the Seahawks apart and they are staring 0-2 in the face, Carroll and GM John Schneider will have to decide whether it’s time to change their stance.