An older, wiser Shaquem Griffin is feeling more comfortable again playing on the edge

Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times on

Published in Football

Shaquem Griffin will forever be known for far more than what he does on a football field, his tale of overcoming the loss of his left hand at age 4 to make it to the NFL serving as an inspiration long after his playing days are done.

But as he enters his second season with the Seahawks, football is all Griffin has on his mind.

That's something he admitted was sometimes challenging a year ago during a whirlwind rookie season when Griffin's drafting by the Seahawks and reunion with twin Shaquill turned the brothers into international media sensations.

But after a rookie year on the field when he lost an early chance to claim a starting spot at weakside linebacker, Griffin said he understood he had to have a more singular focus this offseason.

"Oh yeah, it definitely was (a quieter offseason)," Griffin said this week. "More so for me just to take time for yourself and find out who you are, find out what you want, find out what your goals and what you want to get out of next season and just go after it, working out every single day, making sure I was getting my body right and eating right. Let's focus on myself instead of letting everybody else focus on me."

Everybody else, though, could have a harder time in 2019 finding Griffin once they do again put their focus on him.


Last season the Seahawks used Griffin at weakside linebacker, where he started out backing up K.J. Wright and serving as a potential heir apparent at that spot.

That was a new role for Griffin after he played primarily safety and outside linebacker at Central Florida. Struggles in an opening-game loss at Denver in place of an injured Wright showed the team that Griffin still had a lot to learn. He spent the rest of the year playing almost solely on special teams.

Now, the Seahawks are using Griffin as a strongside linebacker in the base defense and weakside in the nickel, the former role allowing him to do more pass rushing and the latter allowing him to work more in pass coverage.

Pass rushing was a particular strength for Griffin in college -- he had 18.5 sacks in his final two seasons.


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