Seahawks Rookie Shaquill Griffin Taking 'Bits And Pieces' From Richard Sherman

As he does every year, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is passing along knowledge to young defensive backs in Seattle.

Since becoming a member of the Seahawks last spring, Griffin said he now has a bigger appreciation for Sherman's game because he see's how much more he does to consistently be one of the top players in the league. It's different to watch players from afar and notice how good they are compared to actually stepping on the field and watching how they execute their style. 

"At first, you just see him go out and make plays but it's so much more than that," Griffin explained. "Now, going through it, you can see the things that it takes to be great. You don't wake up and become great. It's something that takes time and you got to continue to work on your craft like I continue to say."

Going under Sherman's wing was slightly new for Griffin at first because he was often in Sherman's position while playing at the University of Central Florida, but his perspective quickly changed.

"At first, it was a little different," Griffin said. "I wasn't used to being under somebody's wing, I was the one who had to lead someone else in the college days. Now, I'm open to everything and I am ready to learn and listen. Especially from one of the greats, you know, it's a blessing and I'm just taking it one day at a time when it comes to that." 

With the NFL shifting to such a pass-heavy league, more is being expected from young cornerbacks early on to be prepared for multiple situations out of various formations at any given time. Due to DeShawn Shead's questionable status for the start of the season (knee), Griffin could potentially be aligned opposite of his mentor Sherman Week 1. With Sherman being able to take away a portion of the field, quarterbacks are certainly going to test Griffin if that's the case. Pete Carroll even noted Monday that Griffin is going to get a lot of playing time during the preseason to help him prepare and they are trying to work him a lot in practice to give him a feel for it. With the lessons Sherman has passed along and will continue to share, Griffin could be prepared to hold his own early on and build off those valuable reps.

"They are expecting a lot from me and I'm just taking it one day at a time," Griffin said. "I continue to work hard. I want everyone to know they can count on me. I'm a rookie, but I'm not here to act like a rookie. I'm going to continue to mature and let everyone know they can count on me.

"I'm here and I'm ready for it whenever they need me. I'm going to continue to express that. I'm here to learn and continue to work my craft so if that situation comes up, I'm ready to play." 

As one of the many leaders for the Seattle Seahawks, Richard Sherman has never been afraid to lend a hand and mentor young players. Besides his rookie season when he learned from Marcus Trufant and Roy Lewis, Sherman has coached and shared wisdom to players joining the Seahawks looking to improve their craft and make a name for themselves at the next level.

Any fan of the NFL knows the type of caliber player Sherman is on the field as a consistent and shutdown All Pro and Pro Bowl corner, but what many don't see away from gamedays is the work he conducts out of his way to elevate his teammates on a daily basis. 

This year is no different, with Sherman being one of the players to help guide the Seahawks' new group of rookie defensive backs. The Seahawks used four of their 11 draft picks in the 2017 NFL Draft on DBs: cornerback Shaquill Griffin, safety Delano Hill, safety Tedric Thompson and cornerback Mike Tyson.

The Seahawks have just begun Week 2 of training camp at Renton's Virginia Mason Athletic Center, and Griffin says Sherman is already lending more than a helping hand as he continues his transition to the NFL.

"I'm getting a lot of help from Richard [Sherman] and you know, every now and then I get the chance to move a little faster," Griffin said following Day 7 of camp. "So, now, I'm starting to get the hang of it. The game is starting to slow down for me. 

"I definitely take bits and pieces (from him). At the end of the day I've got to make it to where it helps my game. Everything that Richard Sherman does works for Richard Sherman. It won't always work for Shaquill Griffin. I take bits and pieces that I can use, that will help my craft and my game and I continue to just save it in the back of my head."

Sherman was upbeat Monday when talking about what he's seen thus far from the 6-foot-1 Griffin.

"He's mentally sharp," Sherman said. "That's really, really unique for a rookie to be that mentally sharp and mentally on it. He's incredibly coachable. He does a great job of just being coachable and when they correct a mistake then he makes sure he makes the corrections."

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Griffin said Sherman has been guiding him on how to watch film, what to look for on down and distances, how to prepare for different situations and most importantly, technique. Griffin said footwork is "definitely" different in the NFL compared to what he was accustomed to in college.  

"Once you understand how to do it, it helps a lot," Griffin said. "So, that is something I keep on working on, I'm definitely staying humble about everything and I'm taking it one day at a time. I'm going to continue trying to perfect my technique, and I feel like that will take me a long way. 

"You step, and you kick, and you use hands. And the most important thing is you can't use hands first because your hips will lock and that's how receivers will get behind you. It's very important to move your feet first before hands. I was so used to being so aggressive and as soon as the receiver moved I put my hands on first and my hips lock. Sometimes, when I was back in college, that's how receivers got behind me. Now, that I'm starting to learn, it's easy for me to stay over to the top and guarding receivers is a lot easier. He keeps telling me no matter what we do in our one-on-ones, or where I'm at, continue to work my craft and my technique and don't let anyone else change it."

Since Organized Team Activities (OTAs), Sherman said Griffin has gotten more patient and is playing smarter. He likes the progression Griffin has made over the last few months since first arriving with the team.

"He's gotten patient," Sherman said. "He's trusting himself more. He's not biting on the receivers' first moves like he was in OTA's. He had a susceptibility to the inside release that he doesn't have as much as often anymore. He's not relying on his athleticism as much as he was at first. He's playing smarter. All those things are coming into fruition but those are just things, learning things, being a young guy." 

Since becoming a member of the Seahawks last spring, Griffin said he now has a bigger appreciation for Sherman's game because he see's how much more he does to consistently be one of the top players in the league. It's different to watch players from afar and notice how good they are compared to actually stepping on the field and watching how they execute their style. 

"At first, you just see him go out and make plays but it's so much more than that," Griffin explained. "Now, going through it, you can see the things that it takes to be great. You don't wake up and become great. It's something that takes time and you got to continue to work on your craft like I continue to say."

Going under Sherman's wing was slightly new for Griffin at first because he was often in Sherman's position while playing at the University of Central Florida, but his perspective quickly changed.

"At first, it was a little different," Griffin said. "I wasn't used to being under somebody's wing, I was the one who had to lead someone else in the college days. Now, I'm open to everything and I am ready to learn and listen. Especially from one of the greats, you know, it's a blessing and I'm just taking it one day at a time when it comes to that." 

With the NFL shifting to such a pass-heavy league, more is being expected from young cornerbacks early on to be prepared for multiple situations out of various formations at any given time. Due to DeShawn Shead's questionable status for the start of the season (knee), Griffin could potentially be aligned opposite of his mentor Sherman Week 1. With Sherman being able to take away a portion of the field, quarterbacks are certainly going to test Griffin if that's the case. Pete Carroll even noted Monday that Griffin is going to get a lot of playing time during the preseason to help him prepare and they are trying to work him a lot in practice to give him a feel for it. With the lessons Sherman has passed along and will continue to share, Griffin could be prepared to hold his own early on and build off those valuable reps.

"They are expecting a lot from me and I'm just taking it one day at a time," Griffin said. "I continue to work hard. I want everyone to know they can count on me. I'm a rookie, but I'm not here to act like a rookie. I'm going to continue to mature and let everyone know they can count on me.

"I'm here and I'm ready for it whenever they need me. I'm going to continue to express that. I'm here to learn and continue to work my craft so if that situation comes up, I'm ready to play." 

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