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Pete Carroll wants Shaquem Griffin to focus on football -- and he is

Seahawks Rookie Camp Football

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, left, talks with coach Pete Carroll, right, Friday, May 4, 2018, after NFL rookie football camp in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


With the draft in the rear-view mirror and rookie minicamp underway, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll knows it’s important for one of the best stories of the draft to make football his full focus.

“It’s extremely important for that turn to occur,” Carroll told reporters on Friday regarding linebacker Shaquem Griffin’s shift from media darling to football player. “It’s been a great story, it will always be a great story, but right now he’s got work to do and he’s got focus he’s got to generate. He’s got a lot of people tugging on him and for all of the right reasons and all of that, but I know that he’s very determined and we are to help him in his pursuit of making the club and making a spot and all of that. He’s like everybody else, he’s got to compete like everybody. He’s going to do it, he’s going to bring it. . . . [H]e’s gotten the message and he’s very clear about it and so we appreciate giving him a chance for everybody that’s working him. It’s such a wonderful story and he’s a wonderful kid and all that, I get it, but right now it’s ball.”

It’s possibly too much ball, because Carroll had to rein Griffin in.

“[Shaquem] looked very aggressive,” Carroll said. “We had to slow him down some early on in the practice and in the walk through, he was going too hard. So we had to chill him out a little bit. But he’s very excited about being here. He’s a very good looking prospect. He’s big and fast and had a good feel for what’s going on. Obviously, [brother Shaquil Griffin] had done a little bit of tutoring – he was ahead of us a little bit with his learning, which was good.”

As a fifth-round pick, there’s no guarantee that Shaquem Griffin will make the 53-man roster. But he likely slid due more to the fact that he’s missing a hand than the notion that he can’t bring it. He definitely can, and he’s now getting the chance to show what he can do.