A couple of months ago, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll indicated that he wanted to use linebacker Shaquem Griffin more as a pass-rusher heading into the 2019 season.
“We need to show him more there,” Carroll said. “We need to see more. He didn’t get enough opportunities even in practice as we look back. Just because he had a knack for it, we need to uncover that, make sure we know what we’ve got.”
Well based on the early days of OTAs, it looks as if Carroll is following through on his goals for Shaquem.
Shaquem Griffin being used a lot on the edge and Carroll says he likes what he's seen in first two days.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) May 21, 2019
Shaquem played in every game in his rookie season, starting (but struggling) in place of the injured K.J. Wright in the team’s season opener against the Denver Broncos. He was overwhelmingly on special teams, only getting 50 defensive snaps overall.
Among Shaquem’s best talents at Central Florida, he was a fearsome pass-rusher. All 18.5 sacks in his college career came over the course of his junior and senior seasons. Seattle drafting Cody Barton and Ben Burr-Kirven, as well as re-signing K.J. Wright and Mychal Kendricks, certainly put into question how Shaquem would factor into the team’s defensive plans entering this season. Griffin would be an undersized LEO at 228 lbs, but that position might suit him better than the unfamiliar role of weakside linebacker.
“He looked comfortable when we were playing him on the edge,’’ Carroll said on Tuesday. “We’ve already had him outside some where he’s had a chance to blitz a little bit more, so he’s getting started. It’s just a couple of days but it looks very comfortable for him to demonstrate that flexibility, which is a real asset for him.’’
Seattle certainly needs all the pass-rushing help it can get. The sentimental nature of wanting Shaquem to succeed aside, it’d be really cool to see if Griffin to LEO is something we see through training camp and into preseason.