The Seahawks have a good one in Shaquill Griffin. I said it last year on several occasions— the man can play. We didn’t have to protect him or hide him like you have to with some rookies. He was playing it straight up last season just like everyone else.
With me gone, I’m sure he’ll get tested a bit more this year. But once they start figuring out he can play, teams will stop throwing it over there.
But then he’ll probably figure something out and switch his game up to throw offenses off. Shaq is sharp; he’s mentally sharp, and it’s unique for a rookie to be as mentally sharp as he is. He does a great job of just being coachable. When the coaches correct a mistake, he makes the necessary changes.
Whether a guy is coachable or not is more important than people may think. Guys try to be coachable, but it is easier said than done. It’s easy for a guy to say he’s going to make a change when the coaches point out a need for one. But it’s harder to put into action.
Shaq puts it into action just about every time.
His game definitely got better as the season went on last year. He became more patient and started trusting himself more. He quit biting on the receiver’s first moves like he often did in OTAs. He was susceptible to an inside release but not so much anymore. He stopped relying on his athleticism as much and played smarter.
I really like Shaq, and I am going to miss him. He was everything you wanted in a young player—quiet but not silent, respectful, eager to learn, and he listened well. You didn’t have to tell him anything twice; he got it the first time.
I don’t know his brother as well. But I respect the struggle he’s endured his whole like and his ability to overcome it. I said it before the draft and meant every word—if he didn’t get drafted in the first two days the system is broken. He was productive, performed well at the combine, and played well against high-level competition.
Who wouldn’t want a guy like that?
Going forward, despite our team affiliations, I want nothing but the best for Shaq. I think he has what it takes to be an elite corner in this league. He just needs to keep working hard and remain a student of the game.
I have no doubt that he will do just that.