RENTON, Wash. – It turns out that Shaquill Griffin’s fears were well founded.
During a recent interview with Q13, Griffin said he was ecstatic his twin brother Shaquem had been drafted to join him on the Seattle Seahawks – but a little concerned about Shaquem’s executive decision that the two would be roommates.
Sure enough, Shaquem’s taking over the place.
“I’m extremely blessed, and I’ve just got to get a better reaction from my brother because he’s not too happy I moved in with him,” Shaquem laughed after practice at the VMAC on Friday.
“It’s going well. I got me a little puppy, so now we’re taking up more room. We’re kinda taking over right now, so he’s not too happy.”
The 5-month-old puppy is a blue French bulldog named Tank – “he’s a very hefty puppy … big stomach” – and he’s just one sign that Griffin is feeling at home in Seattle. Things are going well on the field as well.
“I feel like I’m adjusting well,” Griffin said. “One thing I’m doing is listening to my coaches and one thing they say is ‘make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice.’ So I make sure I emphasize that. If there’s anything I mess up on, I just make sure I don’t do it the next day. I just pay attention to what the coaches are telling me and make sure I follow in the footsteps of the guys in front of me.”
Shaquem made national headlines when the Seahawks selected him in the fifth round. Not only would he get to play on the same defense as his twin brother, but he had also beat the odds in making it to the NFL with one hand.
Coach Pete Carroll said his staff immediately set to work making sure Shaquem didn’t let his suddenly high profile get in the way of the work that needed to be done.
“I really wasn’t worried about it, but was aware of it right from the start,” Carroll said. “Just trying to keep him level-headed and make sure that he’s in connection with what he needs to focus on. There’s a lot going on, it’s a fantastic story. But right now he needs to play football and be all over it.
“So, we addressed that right from the start. He’s very poised, he’s a really bright football player. I think the relationship he has with his brother … they have a real savvy that they share. They have a way about them that I think gives them a chance to be really good and really competitive.”
Griffin is mostly working as a weakside linebacker, backing up K.J. Wright. Wright’s contract is up after this season, but Griffin said both he and Bobby Wagner have gone out of their way to help him learn the ropes.
“They make sacrifices a lot of the vets on other teams wouldn’t do,” he said. “They come to the rookie meetings. They sit by you. They ask us questions. They tell us to go to the board. They make sure to ask us when we’re on the field what we’re thinking, why we did it this way. So they kind of stay on top of everything, they make sure they’re pushing us as well as everybody else.
“When you’ve got guys who are willing to make sacrifices, to take their time away to help someone else, the only thing we can do is get better every day.”