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Thanks to preparation, Shaquem Griffin is thriving in Return to Seahawks


RENTON, WA – As he had done every day during an unprecedented training camp for the past month, Shaquem Griffin arrived at the Virginia Mason Athletic Complex on Sept. 5, prepared to take a COVID-19 test and prepare at the Seahawks season opener in Atlanta. .

But after Griffin reported having been cleaned, he received the call that no NFL player wants to receive on the truncated day. Despite a strong showing at the camp, the third-year linebacker was surprised to find out he was being waived by Seattle.

After clearing the waiver, Griffin admitted that several teams, including the Texans, were contacting his agent about signing the former All-American. But his twin brother Shaquill Griffin was still under contract and about to start for the Seahawks, he had no interest in playing anywhere else and signed with the exhibition team.

“I think that was a big thing for me – having my brother there was pretty big,” Griffin told reporters on Wednesday. I can admit that. We sat down, we talked for so long about ups and downs, pros and cons of what was going on in the situation. My brother calmed me down a bit to the point where it was like I could ‘I always understand the situation, understand the why, but understand there’s a reason. “

As coach Pete Carroll stated on Monday, the presence of first-round pick Jordyn Brooks played the biggest role in Griffin’s failure to make the 53-man roster. As much as the organization loved the player at the time, there just wasn’t room to keep him in the deepest position group on the team.

While Griffin was initially disappointed as expected, especially considering how well he played as a situational rusher at the end of the 2019 season, he didn’t dwell on the situation for long. After overcoming massive setbacks his entire life to become the first one-handed player in NFL history, he wouldn’t walk away when the going got tough, determined to fight back to Seattle’s squad instead and into the Pacific. Northwest with his brother.

Worst came to worst, I always have my brother. At the end of the day, when I have it, everything is always fine whether I play the ball or not, Griffin smiled. “So it’s like ‘If I want the situation to change, what can I adjust? What can I do to improve myself?”

Rather than grumbling and feeling sorry for himself, Griffin attacked his playbook and made sure he knew every formation and play call in multiple positions inside and out. When it came time to play again, no matter what the Seahawks asked him to, he’d be ready to roll.

With Bruce Irvin having a torn ACL and Rasheem Green landing on the injured reserve with a neck injury, Griffin’s chance to shine came quickly. Desperate for help with pass rush and linebacker depth, Seattle lifted him from the exhibition squad the day before Sunday’s matchup against Dallas and he adjusted for the first time this season.

Taking full advantage of his opportunity, Griffin’s emphasis on preparation was evident on the field. He showed his sub-4.40 speed on 17 defensive snaps and flew the whole field as both an edge rusher and a quarterback spy while producing a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a defensive pass on the final defensive drive as the Seahawks loved. on for a thrilling 38-31 win.

“For me it was all a mindset,” said Griffin. “When you’ve been through something like that, you have to make a choice and I think I didn’t want to make the choice for me to sell myself short. I knew the plays, I knew what was going on, I knew schedule, so it whole thing was to make sure I stayed tuned and made sure I was ready in case something happened I wasn’t sure what role was going to happen in the game but I just want to be prepared for everything. “

When asked about his disruptive performance, Carroll eventually gushed, eventually slipped out, telling reporters that Griffin would be dressing against the Dolphins again this weekend.

He dragged ass all over the field, Carroll said. We played him in a unique situation that he handled really well. He’s done a good job of rushing the passerby and his other surgeries he had, so I look forward to continuing to contribute. I was really excited about his game.

Under league rules, Griffin returned to the Seattle exhibition squad on Monday, but the team immediately used one of their two protective slots to make sure no other team would attempt to sign him this week. With one more open spot available, chances are he will join Ryan Neal on the 53-man roster before traveling on Sunday to play in Miami.

While it’s on the other end of the spectrum, just like he did after being cut off a few weeks ago, Griffin isn’t putting too much money into his success against the Cowboys. Having dealt with turmoil in high school and college, particularly with coach George O’Leary, he has a unique perspective for dealing with the highs and lows of a professional athlete.

With a big smile as always and happy to be still a Seahawk, Griffin plays his cards a week at a time, working his way behind the scenes in the hope that he will stick around and make an impact for the rest of this season. have on his team. and further.

“Everything can’t be perfect and everything can’t always go your way … Let’s get rid of all the grunting, let’s get rid of the nagging and stuff and get back to work. That’s what you do. Workers work and she I don’t care who does it, it just has to be done so that’s what I came to do.

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