After listening and watching Richard Sherman show him how to become one of the best Cornerbacks in the league, Seahawks Shaquille Griffin is out to prove to his mentor that all of the tutelage was not a waste of time.
(On how much further along in terms of tracking the ball he is compared to his rookie season)
“A lot further than I was last year. I’m glad I’m finally getting the ball in my hand. I feel like that’s the main thing I wanted to work on. That’s just a huge confidence booster for me to finally started getting the ball in my hands early in the season. That’s something I’m going to continue to work on.
I know I still had a few mistakes here and there, you know, missed tackles. So, there’s stuff I still have to work on. I’m glad I’m making progress and I’m glad I’m finally getting the ball in my hand. Just doing the things correctly and doing it right so I can help out a lot more.”
(On what he’s doing differently to help him get the ball more)
“Now I’m just getting my head around, I feel like that’s the main thing I had to do. Last year I felt like I was just playing it safe when I know I can punch the ball out. I know I’m good at tracking the ball and just make sure he doesn’t catch it. I said, now that I know I’m finally doing good with that, let’s try and get the ball in my hands,
I just try to turn my head around. I was looking it for it, finding it and now I’m finally getting it. The main thing I was doing, I was working all off-season and during camp was just turning my head around and just feeling that sense of confidence, just to look for it and find it myself.
I’m glad I got that same play during the game and got an interception because now it’s just, it feels good to finally get that out the way. So now when it continues to happen, I don’t have to think about it and second guess myself when the ball’s in the air.”
(On what Richard Sherman told him before he left about turning his head when defend routes)
“The main thing he told me, you just got to feel it. The main thing was, I know I used to look back and I used to look the wrong way, there’s a certain way you got to look you. He was telling me, when you’re running, you got to look up straight in the air because that’s where the ball is at.
The ball is not coming straight to you. So, it was the little stuff that he was teaching me, but he also wants me to feel comfortable doing it. He didn’t want to teach someone something that he does that only works for him. So, his whole thing was make sure I felt confident and I felt good about turning around and knowing where the ball is at and knowing how to find it. That’s something he taught me. So, I’m just taking them same steps and finally applying it to my game, and I’m glad it’s working.”
(On if he’s been seeking Richard Sherman’s advice since he’s left)
“Oh yeah, no doubt. Everything he taught me last year, I’ve continued to use. If it was something that he was teaching me, I’m going to continue to use for the rest of my life. As a mentor, I feel like that’s one of the best mentors you can ever have and I’m definitely grateful for that.
If there’s any questions, I still will shoot him a text or shoot him a call and he’ll definitely help me out. That’s the type of person Richard Sherman is. He’s always willing to help and that’s something that you as a rookie last year, somebody you can always ask for and love to have from a person like Richard. So, to this day I still would ask questions or anything that I need to know, or I want to know, he’s always willing to help. So that’s awesome from him.”
(On if it’s odd that he still checks in and is still close with a rival of the Seahawks)
“No, I don’t think about it that way. He’s a brother to me. So, when I call him and text him, I’m calling him an older brother, that’s how I look at it. The way he helped me, he helped me as in I’m helping my little brother.
So, the rival thing, that’s not something we think about. It just, he’s such down to earth person, he’s willing to help anyone who needs it. That’s awesome to have a person like that. We need more people like that period that’s willing to help anybody. We don’t think about it. Just an older brother to me.”
(On how much he checks in with his brother Shaquem Griffin during the game)
“Every time I hit the sideline, I see him. You know, making sure he good and making sure that he’s feeling good and moving fast. This game, he was checking on me most of the time. It was so humid out there, he was like, ‘Are you good, you need some water?’ So, it’s good to have him out there checking on me.
Every series is just a couple words here and there. People don’t understand, just those few words help someone, any player, just calm down just a little bit more. There’s so much that happened during the game and sometimes you just want a way just to kind of calm down and get back to reality a little bit. It’s just those few words, you know, it helps.”
(On if Shaquem Griffin brings him water on the sideline)
“Every now and then. Sometimes I have to ask for it, but every now and then he’ll look out for me and he’ll bring some water or anything that I need. So, I’m definitely grateful for that.”
(On Shaquem Griffin’s first two NFL games)
He handled it the right way. As a vet, he made a few mistakes, but he didn’t take it to heart. He got to learn from it. As a rookie and stuff like that, It’s going to happen. He knows some people will take it and just down their self for the rest of the year, and he’s not taking that away. I’m glad he’s not because it’s a long season.
Right now, he’s going to continue to critique his craft and work on the things that he could work on. He’s just doing whatever he can to help the team. Whatever the coaches need him.
He’s doing extra work, he spent extra time here and he’s talking to a special team coaches. He’s just doing whatever he can do to help. As a rookie, that’s all you can ask for. Continue to do whatever you can to provide for this team.”
(On what Shaquem Griffin needs to do on defense and what he needs to work on most)
“Right now, he just needs to just relax a little bit more. It’s some plays that he moved right past. Like, if you got to sit in the hook, he’ll be moving so fast and thinking so much that he’ll run right past it. It’s little stuff like that. Sometimes you kind of calm his mind down a little bit more.
We know you got the speed, but sometimes you just got to think a little bit more instead of just running all over place. You just do your job, everything will fall into line as a defense. So, this whole thing was just, you got to feel comfortable. He knows his book, he knows his plays. He studied every day, he put extra time into it. He just has to feel it, he has to feel confident in himself and in the defense and know that it’s going to work. He just got to be relaxed and just let it happen.”
(On advice he would give to Shaquem Griffin) ”
The main advice I can give him, especially being in a different position is, staying poise and just enjoying the game first. I know he was he was so caught up on, ‘oh, I don’t want to make a mistake, I don’t want to do this, I don’t want them to be mad at me.’ You can’t go into a game like that.
You just got to worry about just doing your job and then the game will play itself out. You never know when you’re going to make a mistake. It could happen,most likely it will happen, but you have to know how to move on from it. So those are common advice I could give him, in that position is just let the game play itself out.
You can’t go in the game worrying about if I make a mistake because you already slowing yourself down from the get go. As of right now, I just want him to stay poised and relaxed and just enjoy the moment of playing this game.”
(On what Bradley McDougald brings to the defense)
“He brings a lot. It’s funny that you said that, we was going back over the film and you can see him, he tipped the ball and he’s waiting for me to catch it and soon as I catch the ball he takes full credit for everything that happened on that play. He tips it and he wants everybody to know that he tipped. I’m (Bradley McDougald) the reason why I (Shaquill Griffin) got the pick.
He wanted everybody to know that, so it’s funny that you said that. He brings a lot. Especially since he’s been doing so much for this whole secondary. When Earl was absent, he took that role, ‘okay, I’m going to lead the group, I’m going to do whatever I can to make sure that these guys are ready and prepared going through camp.’ Then with Earl coming back, now it’s just working together.
Those are the type of guys that we need in that group. For guys like me and Tre (Flowers) and other young guys to look up to. With those guys, they bring so much to the table. It’s perfect to have that type of player here on his team in that secondary. It’s awesome.”
(On what kind of coach Kris Richard was for him last season)
“Someone that was more hands on. That’s what I needed. He didn’t sugar coat nothing for me. If I made a mistake, he made sure I knew about it, but he was more hands on with anything that I did wrong. That made it easier on me to play last year. I feel like the type of advice he gave me, that’s something that I’ll use for the younger guys.
Sometimes you can’t tell guys what they want to hear. Or okay, I think you’re doing this right if you just do this and kind of sugar coat things I’m doing wrong. I felt like he did well with telling me straightforward what’s happening, what I need to fix, what I need to do
. He was more hands on with it, giving more examples and more scenarios to the situation that I’ve been through. So, I feel like he helped me so much and I feel like that helped me become the player I am today.”
(On what he told his brother to expect in his first home game experience)
“Very loud (laughs). It is extremely loud, so he just got to expect not to hear anything in the huddle. Especially when you come in on defense, it was kind of hard for to hear the play.
It’s extremely loud, but it’s exciting. I can’t wait for him to get the full experience. He was telling me, ‘oh, I ain’t know it going to be this loud’, and this was preseason. It’s a totally huge difference between the preseason game and a regular season game at home. So, I’m curious to see his reaction.
I think the first thing I’m going to do if he’s on kick off is look in his face and see how he looks. I just want to catch the reaction of his first time on the field at a regular season game at home.
(On what it meant to him getting moved to Richard Sherman’s old spot)
It meant a lot actually, because I felt like that means they have a sense of trust in me to take that role. Especially being that’s Richard Sherman’s spot and everything that he’s done here in this organization.
That means they had a sense of trust in me to take over that role and kind of pick up where he left off from. So, it felt good to have that feeling and see what the coaches, and this organization have trusting me and how they feel about me by moving me in that position. I’m going to do the best I can to continue to keep that train going in that left-side corner and do whatever I can help this team win.”
(On if he feels anxious after starting the season with two losses) “That’s something that we don’t focus on. We can only focus on the things that we can control. I feel like we’re going to be just fine. You just got to continue to work on the things that we to work on it and focus on us. So that’s the only thing that we’re focused on right now is just controlling the things we can control.”
(On how much he feels like the new and young guys are living up to the standard set by defenses in the past)
“I feel like we’re not trying to live up to the standard. We’re just trying to find our own identity and continue to use what the guys have put down before us. The whole thing with the L.O.B. (Legion of Boom) and everything they have done for this whole organization, it’s not that we’re trying to live up to the standard. It’s just, those are guys that put the stuff in ground for us and kind of just used some of the things they did.
We’re trying to just help us become who we want to be and trying to find our identity in that same type of group. And right now, I feel like we’re doing pretty well. I feel like we’re off to a great start. We still got some things we’ve got to work on, but we’re far from where we want to be and we’re going to get there.
I can’t wait to see what type of players we really can make and how good we really can be. That’s something that we’re looking forward to it and we (are) working so hard to get to. We got the right group of guys here to do that.”
(On what Legion of Boom did that he wants this group of guys to incorporate)
“The main thing we are doing, we are running and hitting. That’s something that L.O.B. definitely did and that’s something that this whole secondary is continuing to do. The main thing right now, continue to get the ball. That’s something they did well too, so that’s something that we continue to work on.
Getting the ball as many times we can during the season. That’s something that we’re going to continue to work on. The main thing that we have been doing well, is running and hitting and effort. That’s something that they brought to the table and everybody’s seen the passion they brought to this game.
That’s something that this secondary is trying to show and want people to know how much we love being out there together and showing our passion for this game, for this sport. I feel that that’s something that we took from them, but as I said, we will continue to work on getting the ball more and just helping this team.”