Seahawks’ Griffin has a big opportunity versus Packers
By Lee Vowell
The Seattle Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers in week one of the regular season. Shaquill Griffin, rookie cornerback of the Seahawks, will be an important player. He will also be one of the few players who decides whether Seattle wins or loses.
Shaquill Griffin may not be in on play one week one. (Or, since the Seahawks are playing the Green Bay Packers, he may be.) Griffin, though, will play on the majority of downs not only against the Packers but during the entire season. On most downs, Griffin will play out wide while Jeremy Lane will move in to cover the slot. Opposite Richard Sherman, Griffin got picked on a lot during the preseason. This will only get worse during the regular season. Or until Griffin can prove opposing quarterbacks shouldn’t look his way very often.
The rookie was the highest picked cornerback since Carroll became head coach. Seattle trusts that Griffin can be a long-term and high-talent corner. But there might no better opposing quarterback Griffin will face in 2017 than Rodgers. And game one to start a career, Griffin will need to put forth an entire game of excellence. That is a lot to ask for a first-year player. Heck, any player really.
Griffin has friends, though. Earl Thomas is back to play the middle. Seattle did not have Thomas in last year’s Packers game. Seattle also has a formidable pass rush. Added to front seven recently was former New York Jet Sheldon Richardson. Seattle may have fixed their interior pass rush problem of 2016.
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One problem Griffin did have in the preseason was not turning his head around in deep coverage. Three passes bounced off his back. He could have intercepted these. Rodgers will find a way to use Griffin not looking around to the Packers advantage, though.
Behind Griffin, the Seahawks do not have a proven cornerback either. Griffin is the guy. In week one and beyond. Seattle needs him to play well against the Packers for the Seahawks to win.