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Keanu Neal still looking to learn from, work out with Kam Chancellor

The gifted second year safety is still striving.

NFL: Super Bowl LI-New England Patriots vs Atlanta Falcons Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now 29 years old, Kam Chancellor has been considered one of the best safeties in the NFL since 2011. While Keanu Neal looks like he will be as good or even better than Chancellor—a hot take, but a measured one—he’s still looking to learn from a player he has long admired.

It’s not unusual for players from different teams to train together in the offseason, and ideally when you’re talking about a rookie or a young player like Neal, it’s with an experienced veteran they can learn a lot from. Neal was wildly successful his rookie season, even if he was ultimately overshadowed by Deion Jones’ speed and big play acumen, but he’s still striving and looks faster to Dan Quinn. If he can pick up a couple more pointers from Chancellor along the way, hoo boy.

I like hearing about little stories like these because they underscore what the Falcons have said all along: They’re going to try to get better each day, and they’re not going to refuse to pick the brains of other players or coaches even if they’re from other teams or even entirely different sports, in the case of Steve Kerr. When you’re trying to shake off an ugly Super Bowl loss, motivation and persistence rule the day.

Look for Neal to take another step forward this year, and perhaps gain widespread recognition as Chancellor’s successor as one of the best strong safeties in the game.