RENTON, Wash. – It’s still early, but Ken Norton Jr. likes what he’s seen of Shaquem Griffin.
Speaking after practice at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center on Tuesday, the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive coordinator had nothing but positive things to say about the team’s splashy fifth-round draft pick.
“His biggest strength as everyone knows is his speed,” Norton said. “He’s really, really fast and he has a great combination with that speed: His mind. He really thinks well, and he really loves ball. It’s been a joy to coach him because he has this combination of speed, he loves ball, and he understands what his strengths are and he plays to them.”
Griffin, the twin brother of Seahawks cornerback Shaquill, left an impression with that speed in the NFL Scouting Combine in March. He ran the 4-yard-dash in 4.38, a combine record for linebackers.
Griffin is expected to back up K.J. Wright at weakside linebacker this season, and play some special teams.
“We haven’t rushed him a lot at the passer (in training camp),” Norton said. “We have guys on the edge – he’s been behind the ball playing (weakside) linebacker. Fantastic. Any time you see him on film or out here in practice, you can’t help but see him flying around the field. He had an interception against Russell Wilson yesterday. That was really exciting to see, because he grew from the offseason.
“He’s just getting better every day. There’s nothing holding him back, and we’re excited that he’s on our team.”
Griffin will take the field for the first time next week, when Seattle plays host to the Indinapolos Colts in a preseason game at 7 p.m. Thursday on the official home of the Seahawks, Q13 FOX.
Norton talked a bit about some of the other young players on the Seahawks’ defense.
On defensive end Rasheem Green, the team’s third-round pick: “Rasheem is long, he’s fast, he’s a Trojan, so that makes him pretty good. We really luck what he brings as far as his youth, his length, his athleticism, and he combines it. He’s got so much football to learn, he’s still growing, and he’s young that it’s just fun watching him absorb all the energy from our culture.”
On cornerback Tre Flowers, one of the team’s fifth-round picks: “Terrific. Long, fast, smart. He’s really humble. He learns in an instant. He takes everything we teach him in the classroom, brings it right out to practice. He makes mistakes, learns from mistakes, and never makes the same mistake twice. He’s a guy that makes new mistakes, and he learns really fast. There’s no limit to how good he can be.”