Seahawks Aiming for Continued Development from Shaquem Griffin
Heading into the offseason, the Seahawks have a clear goal to improve the consistency of their pass rush in 2020.
As part of their game plan, Shaquem Griffin will get another chance to help accomplish that feat in 2020.
Following a somewhat disappointing rookie campaign, Griffin underwent a slight positional change this past season, switching to strongside linebacker to maximize his athleticism rushing off the edge.
In total, the former All-American from UCF saw his percentage of snaps on defense increase by four percent compared to his rookie season, seeing an uptick in snaps starting in Week 10. As a result, Griffin was able to gain valuable experience for the pass rush-needy Seahawks.
Appearing in all 16 regular season games, the second-year pro produced five total tackles and a trio of quarterback hits.
Along with his encouraging performance in the regular season, Griffin also shinned at times during the postseason. Through two playoff performances, the 24-year old registered one solo tackle and made his first career sack against Aaron Rodgers in the divisional round.
When asked to assess Griffin’s sophomore season at this week's NFL combine, coach Pete Carroll felt encouraged by how the young edge rusher responded to his first extensive action.
“He showed us his speed and he’s got the motor that you like to see in pass rushers, particularly on the edge,” Carroll explained. “It’s a challenge for him – he rushed most of the year about 213 [pounds] – not many guys doing that, so he had to be speed oriented, which he was.”
Prior to the season, Griffin was listed at 227 pounds and knew he had to get into better shape to have success. In an effort to become faster and more agile, he decided to improve his diet and workout plan with his twin brother Shaquill.
While Griffin successfully transition to the SAM linebacker position and flashed in limited action, he still has a lot of work to do if he wants to see the field more next season. Carroll stated he’d be given another opportunity to compete and carve out a role in Seattle's edge rusher rotation.
“He helped us, but we need more help and we need to better than that and he’ll need to add to that too,” Carroll discussed. “He’ll get another chance to be right in there again, we’ll see how that develops.”
After being utilized on nine blitz packages and producing just three knockdowns and two hurries, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, Griffin will probably need to add a few new moves to his repertoire this spring to create more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.
If Griffin can take another step with his development and broaden his pass rush counters, there’s a chance for him to become a larger part of Seattle’s plans moving forward. But he’ll need to consistently showcase those improvements before he can be awarded a larger role.