In Seattle Leaders may be followed, but first they must be found

There’s a big change at Seattle’s strong safety this year, and not just because second-year pro Kam Chancellor stands 6 feet 3 and weighs 232 pounds.

Lawyer Milloy isn’t on the Seahawks’ roster, and while coach Pete Carroll left open the possibility the team could turn to Milloy if needed, he also made it clear that Seattle wants to give some of its young players the opportunity to grab that job.

“I told him at this time we’re going to go with our guys that we have,” Carroll said.

That leaves Chancellor as the first-unit strong safety right now, paired with safety Earl Thomas. Seattle has 14 defensive backs listed on its roster. Ten of those players are in their first or second year in the NFL, including Ron Parker — an undrafted rookie from Newberry College, who is wearing Milloy’s No. 36.

That doesn’t mean the door is necessarily closed on Milloy’s return, however. He joined the Seahawks a week before the regular season started in 2009, and Carroll has an affection for him, having coached Milloy first in New England and then last season in Seattle.

“I love this guy,” Carroll said. “He’s one of my favorite guys. I’ve been with him for years and years … He’s one of the best conditioned athletes in the history of the League, and he’s in incredible shape right now. If the opportunity arises where we can do something, he knows we’ll be the first to call him, but he’s got other clubs that could do the same.”