Shaquem Griffin

Shaquill, Shaquem Griffin co-lead initiative for NFL Votes

Shaquill, Shaquem Griffin co-lead initiative for NFL Votes

August 6th is an important day in our nation’s history. On this day 55 years ago, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson aimed to overcome legal barriers at the state and local levels that prevented African Americans from exercising their right to vote as guaranteed under the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Today, the NFL announced the launch of ‘NFL Votes’, a league-wide, non-partisan initiative that will support and encourage the civic engagement and voting of NFL players, legends, club and league personnel, and NFL fans from now until Election Day.

NFL Votes will focus on three key components of the electoral process: voter education, voter registration, and voter activation. These voting efforts are incorporated into the league's social justice initiative Inspire Change, which “showcases how the players, owners and league work together to create positive change in communities across America.”

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Dave "Softy" Mahler].

Of those trying to encourage others to get out and vote during this election season, Seattle Seahawks twin brothers Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin are doing just that.

We once were at a time in our lives when we felt our vote did not matter, and that came from conversations with people who felt the same way. But our vote really does count. We all sat down together, talked with our mom and dad, and you can't get to the point that it doesn't matter. That was a problem, but once you have the conversation, we actually found the truth. — Shaquill Griffin

You have to set the example. It's about getting up and doing it. People can say one thing and do another. If I want to be one of the better (examples) I have to be one who says I am going to do it and then do it. If they see me doing it and I take the step forward, I physically assure you this is the time to do it. — Shaquem Griffin

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll is also amongst a group of leaders spearheading this initiative.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell adds:

“Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was meant to ensure the right to vote for all Americans, prohibiting discrimination in voting based on race or color. Through meeting with players and legends to better understand causes and issues they are passionate about, we found a consensus around the importance of voting. That's why we're putting the power of our platform behind NFL Votes, aiming to inspire and encourage people to get educated about the voting process, to get registered to vote, and to ultimately exercise their right to vote.”

For more information on this initiative, visit the NFL’s website here.

Why Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin playing football has little to do with football

Why Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin playing football has little to do with football

The Griffin Twins have been inseparable since birth. Growing up together, taking the college football scene by storm at the University of Central Florida and now both finding their NFL home with the Seattle Seahawks. 

The two also started a YouTube channel highlighting what a day in the life of quarantine looks like for them. The series is titled ‘Shaqin It Up with the Griffin Twins’ and episode three, “The 727” just dropped on June 28.

The 727 area code is from St. Petersburg, Florida, where the Griffin twins grew up.

Here’s a breakdown of episode three:

PART ONE: It’s a work day

Get a behind the scenes look at how the Griffin twins are staying in shape for the upcoming NFL season during this pandemic in a backyard workout.

In the video, the two are working on balance and stability in the sand, which if you’ve ever done a sand workout is not easy feat. Also, their Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf impersonation is pretty spot on.

PART TWO: Boats n’ skies

Just as it is important to train and workout, it’s also important to have off days, rest and recover. 

How the Griffin twins do just that on a hot day in Florida is hit the water. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Seahawks legend Steve Largent].

PART THREE: Giving back

Me and my brother have been through so much in our life and it’s just a privilege to be in the position that we are in today, to be able to give back to the less fortunate. I honestly feel that is the main reason why we play this game - to be able to give back to ones that may need it the most.

The twins partnered with Nike to give t-shirts, shorts and other clothes along with shoes to the homeless in their Florida community. Turns out a ton of families showed up, so the twins decided to clothe the parents and order pizza, water and other food for the kids.

Watch episode three below:

The Seattle Seahawks along with the rest of the NFL will report for training camp starting on July 28. Staring corner Shaquill is coming off a 45 tackle season in 2019 while linebacker brother Shaquem saw most of his action on special teams and finished with three tackles last season.

Shaquem Griffin’s speech to Taquarius Wair will give you chills

Shaquem Griffin’s speech to Taquarius Wair will give you chills

Taquarius Wair sustained burns to his body at four years old when a fire burned down his house.

He only had a 20 percent chance of surviving. 

“I remember watching my brother’s skin slip off his body like plastic,” his brother Richard said in a video on the ESPYs on Sunday evening. 

Wair lost the fingers on his left hand and underwent a number of medical procedures including skin grafts and reconstructive surgery. At the age of 7, he found a passion for the game of football and when he walked out onto the field, Wair was just like everybody else. 

“My life became memorable when I found football,” Wair said. “They put the ball in my hands, and it was over from there.” 

Wair, now a running back at Mesabi Range College, was awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2020 ESPY Awards on Sunday. Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin, whose hand was amputated at age 4 due to complications from amniotic band syndrome, was there to present the honor virtually. 

The surreal moment when Wair lifted the silver ESPY award from the box was emotional. Both Griffin and Wair’s mom were brought to tears. 

On behalf of the ESPYs, they brought me here, and I couldn't ask for a better spot to be in to be able to talk to you. Jimmy V talked about perseverance and overcoming all obstacles, [someone] who shows nothing but grind, nothing but perseverance and attitude and grit, and I want to let you know that you're that guy. And I'm proud of you, bro.

Many more to come, brother. Many more to come. -- Shaquem Griffin 

Despite the numerous injuries Wair has faced, he’s persevered to pursue his dream of playing sports. Overcoming adversity is a true testament to his determination and just one of the reasons why he was the recipient of the prestigious award. 

It is an honor to receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance and humbling to be on a list with the previous recipients. I use the phrase 'Don't give up' in my life every day, and I will continue to do so in the fight for my dream. -- Taquarius Wair

Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Hall of Famer and former Seattle Seahawk Walter Jones.

Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin show us how they are surviving quarantine

Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin show us how they are surviving quarantine

Like all of us, Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin are bored in the house and don’t know what day it is anymore. 

To show what some of their days of been like in the crazy times of quarantine, the Seattle Seahawks dropped a new episode of Shaqin It Up with The Griffin Twins.

In this week’s episode, the twins head to their hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida to quarantine with their family. While training with their father, Terry, in his backyard, the Griffin brothers get some work in on the jugs machine, lift some weights and argue with pops over how many sets 10 sets of 30 are. 

Rest assured Pete Carroll, Terry is going to have these guys NFL ready.  

“If you’re watching this pray that you never have to go through this,” Shaquill said. 

The lockdown gets even more interesting after the workout when the Griffin brothers head to “Wally World,” otherwise known as Walmart, to put together a massage table. When they can’t locate an actual massage table, the twins get innovative. 

They pull out a folding table and discuss wrapping it with memory foam. Since they do not have a massage therapist, they’ll rotate shifts on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 

Next, Shaquem and Shaquill take a trip to their older brother and sister’s house, where they’ve found an interesting way to homeschool their kids during the pandemic. 

The Griffin brothers call it “homeschool with a twist,” and honestly, that’s not even the half of it. Their sister created a daily “Big Kays School Day,” which includes doing assignments and chores in exchange for Monopoly money. Once the kids have received a certain amount of money, they cash it in to get treats like Haribo gummy bears and Pop Tarts. Genius. 

The episode wraps with a competitive basketball game that even Mama Griffin takes part in. Shaquem goes up to block his mom and let’s just say “the bank don’t like that.” 

Never a dull moment when you are with the Griffins. 

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann and special guest Texas Tech head football coach Matt Wells.

Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin deliver powerful commencement speech to UCF grads

Shaquill and Shaquem Griffin deliver powerful commencement speech to UCF grads

Shaquem and Shaquill Griffin have spent their entire lives overcoming the odds.  

Before Shaquem was even born, he developed amniotic band syndrome, a rare condition that disrupted the development of the fingers on his left hand. At 4, he made the choice to have his left hand amputated after it failed to develop normally, but he would not give up playing sports alongside his brother, Shaquill. 

The two were both offered football scholarships to the University of Central Florida and eventually joined the same team in the NFL, being drafted in back-to-back years by the Seattle Seahawks. Shaquem made history, becoming the first one-handed player to be drafted in the modern era of the NFL.

Now, in a virtual commencement speech in front of UCF graduates, the Knights’ alums who were in “half-suits” urged the 2020 class to discover their passion.

"You've got to know your worth, know the sacrifices you made to get here today to graduate," Shaquill said during the eight-minute speech. "You all earned it. You all deserve it. ... Now, it's time to just find your purpose. What's the reason why you did all this? What's the reason why you sacrificed so much time -- so much time away from family -- to be able to get this next exam done, to make sure you have the best grades so you can achieve whatever you want to achieve?

"So, find your purpose. Find what makes you happy. Find what you love and take full advantage of it."

Shaquill admitted he hit a wall during his junior year at UCF, but he found inspiration in knowing what his brother Shaquem had gone through—and overcome. 

"Adversity made me who I am today," Shaquem told the graduates. "Don't let adversity dictate who you are going to be. ... We know what to do when it comes. You beat it. You fight it. You attack it every single day it comes at you to become a better person, a better you.

"I got you. Knight Nation got you. We all got each other. So always remember that. ... Help somebody out. Be great. Change the world. That's what we're here for. That's what we came to UCF for."

The Griffin bros graduated from UCF in 2016. Shaquill was a third-round pick by the Seahawks in 2017, while Shaquem, who redshirted in 2013, played one more season in Orlando before being drafted in the fifth round by Seattle in 2018.

Now in the NFL, the Griffins continue to be an inspiration to many. The two frequently meet with limb-different athletes and wrote a book last year titled Inseparable: How Family and Sacrifice Forged a Path to the NFL to share their life experiences with others. 

Check out Talkin' Seahawks every week for Seattle Seahawks news, game breakdowns, and analysis, plus conversations with the most important names in Seattle. 

Face App: Seattle Seahawks Social Media Reacts

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Russell Wilson Instagram

Face App: Seattle Seahawks Social Media Reacts

With the world run by social media, it seems as if there are new viral sensations every day. Recently, our feeds have been filled by “Face App” filters, which can digitally change the features on your face. Yesterday, people around the world used the age filter to get a little insight into what they might look like down the road. 

 

Members of the Seattle Seahawks took full advantage of the uproar. Players such as Russell Wilson and Justin Britt posted the results on Instagram, and the Seahawks’ social media team also had some fun with the likes of Michael Dickson, KJ Wright, the Griffin brother, and Tyler Lockett. Take a look below!

 

Russell Wilson

View this post on Instagram

Told y'all I'm gonna play for a long time! #SilverFox

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

 

Justin Britt

View this post on Instagram

How I be feeling by week 16

A post shared by Justin Britt (@justinbritt68) on

 

Tyler Ott, Jason Myers, Michael Dickson

 

Jarran Reed, KJ Wright, Bradley McDougald, Shaquem Griffin, Shaquill Griffin

 

DJ Fluker, David Moore, Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Russell Wilson

Seattle Seahawks' LB Shaquem Griffin is on edge and ready to cut loose

Seattle Seahawks' LB Shaquem Griffin is on edge and ready to cut loose

RENTON, Wash. - Seattle second-year linebacker Shaquem Griffin feels at home again on the football field. He's no longer limited to operating exclusively behind defensive linemen while making complex reads before reacting, duties he struggled to adapt to. Instead, the Seahawks have returned the ultra-quick Griffin to the edge position where he thrived at Central Florida while displaying the skills that made him a fifth-round pick last year in spite of not having the use of his left hand, lost at birth. 

Griffin is now free to speed rush quarterbacks with abandon, reel in running backs from the backside and set the edge when plays ramble in his direction. Each of these assignments come second nature to Griffin, who is ready to cut loose this season after a disappointing rookie year that left him somewhat frustrated. 

"It just snapped right back to me as soon as they put me there and I'm having so much fun out there again," Griffin said following the final day of Seattle's minicamp at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. "It's just such a big difference because I feel so comfortable out there."

Following trading defensive end Frank Clark to Kansas City prior to the NFL Draft, Seattle became in desperate need of edge pass rushers. Defensive end Ezekiel Ansah could be the answer, but he recently signed free agent and former Pro Bowler from Detroit is recovering from shoulder surgery and could be eased back into action with no set timetable to do so. 

"I don’t think we’ll rush him when there won’t be a need to start him up right out of the chutes, and we’ll see how it goes in the weeks to follow," Carroll said. 

Even when Ansah is full-go, the team will need additional pass rushers to spell him or line up on the other side of the formation on obvious passing downs. Griffin is a candidate to fill that role. But he must prove that he is up to the task.

In college, Griffin showed out as a pass-rushing menace. He made 33 1/5 tackles for loss including 18 1/2 sacks during his final two years at Central Florida. He said running around and playing fast is all he knew in college. Then he arrived in Seattle and suddenly he found himself playing a stacked linebacker position that didn't exactly suit him. Injuries to K.J. Wright to begin catapulted Griffin into the starting lineup at in season-opening loss at Denver and the day didn't go well for the rookie. He rarely saw game action outside of special teams the rest of the season and finished the year with just 11 tackles and no sacks. 

Griffin remains in the process of learning the regular outside linebacker positions and said that middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and Wright have encouraged him to embrace learning multiple positions in order to expand his knowledge base of the entire defense. 

"It makes you show your worth a little more knowing that I can go from off the edge to back to being a stack backer," Griffin said. 

But Griffin's heart is on the edge. 

“At this point, it’s about being available, and giving us a chance to move you around and play hard," defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said of Griffin.  "The guy has real good speed as you know. He really understands the game. And that much speed and that much ability, you’d like to find a place to play him because he’s a weapon.”

Griffin admittedly has been a bit rusty out there in space. He said some of the pass rush moves that came so naturally to him while at Central Florida have been slow to fully return. The nuances of taking proper angles and mixing up moves to throw at pass blockers are still being refined. 

"There's so much that goes into rushing that I've got to get acclimated to that again," he said. "It's all muscle memory and habit."

Griffin hopes to play at a lean, mean 230 pounds. He and his twin brother, Seattle cornerback Shaquill Griffin have hired a chef to help them improve their nutrition and thus their playing ability. Shaquem said he's eliminated fried foods, fast food, chicken wings and pork fro his diet that no consists mainly of lean chicken and fish. 

Another aspect of his life that is different this year is the reduction in attention being thrown his way. Last year, Griffin was one of the top stories in the NFL given his unique story. Now he is old news and likely won't receive that type of attention again until he actually produces on the field. And that's fine with him. 

"I've been able to focus on my stuff," he said, "instead of everyone focusing on me."

Seattle Seahawks' CB Shaquill Griffin is leaner, more focused and in need of a big year

Seattle Seahawks' CB Shaquill Griffin is leaner, more focused and in need of a big year

Seattle cornerback Shaquill Griffin admittedly played a bit selfishly last season. He overvalued statistics. He believed that big plays would define him rather than consistency. That mindset prevented him from performing at the high standards he has set for himself.

He's set out to reverse that narrative. 

"Just focused on individual goals I felt like I put too much pressure, because if I didn't meet that, I felt like I was doing something wrong or that I wasn't good enough," Griffin told reporters following a voluntary offseason training workout. "So that pressure was all on myself and the mindset that I had. That's the mindset I had to change."

Now we're seeing the new and what Seattle hopes is an improved Griffin entering his third season in the NFL. He proclaimed to have matured. He's better focused, ready to take his game to another level, but in the right way. As a bonus, he's 12 pounds lighter, quicker and with more endurance. That is the product of more adult-like diet. 

This is all good news for Seattle because, let's fact facts; Griffin did not perform well enough last season to justify letting Richard Sherman walk down I-5 to San Francisco. Griffin started the season well with two interceptions in a loss at Chicago during Week 2. Those were the only two offerings he would snag all season. His total passes defended declined from 15 as a rookie in 2017 to eight last season. 

According to ProFootballFocus.com, Griffin took a step back as an overall cover corner. In fact, the site rated last year's No. 3 corner Justin Coleman as the better overall coverage guy with a grade of 77.8 (19th among qualifying corners). Griffin received a grade of 50.7, down from 65.3 his rookie season. Coleman is now with Detroit while Griffin could be under a microscope in 2019. 

Griffin is equally as harsh regarding his play. He gave himself a D grade for last season during a recent radio interview. 

"I could give myself any type of grade," Griffin said following practice. "But the only way I can get better is if I'm hard on myself. Last year was just an average year. Being the No. 1 corner I can't have average years...I've got to be that guy. I've got to be more than just good. I've got to be great."

A change in mindset could help. Starting with the new diet, Griffin said he and his twin brother and roommate, linebacker Shaqeem Griffin - more on him later - hired a chef to provide them with healthy, pre-prepared meals in order to help the DB slim down and the LB to bulk up a bit. 

Shaquill Griffin said he has greatly reduced the senseless eating of unhealthy foods. A new diet of more frequent but smaller meals that include chicken, fish and a reduction in carbohydrates, along with working out daily, has allowed Griffin to shed 12 pounds of excess weight while not losing muscle or strength. 

"I'm feeling fast now," he said.

More importantly, now back down to his rookie weight of 194 pounds, Griffin said he has more endurance. At times last year weighed as much as 210 or 212 pounds, pretty hefty for a 6-foot corner. The added weight, he claimed, didn't impact his speed but it did hurt his ability to maintain his quickness throughout a game. 

"I feel like I had my speed but it took so much out of me because I was carrying so much weight," Griffin said. 

Now he hopes to be able to play an entire game at optimal abilities. 

"My energy level continues to stay up so I can run a lot faster for a lot longer," he said. 

His mental approach also had to change and that led him to the film room where he studied the 2013 season when the Seahawks, led by the famed Legion of Boom, won the Super Bowl. He marveled at how they they played together, celebrated together and demonstrated such confidence and bravado while achieving excellence. 

"It's kind of cool to see the type of environment they created with each other," Griffin said. 

He had other Seattle defensive backs download the video and watch it as well in hopes that it would become infectious and inspire the entire crew to raise it's level of play to at least come close to meeting the standards set by that championship crew, already gone from the roster six years later. 

"It kind of opened people's eyes to the things that we want to be, the things that we want to get back to," Griffin said. 

To help that happen Griffin has taken it upon himself to be more of a leader, and not just by example. He's being proactive and more vocal. 

While Shaquill is trying to improve his play as a starter, his brother, a fifth-round pick last year, is trying to put himself in position to make an impact on defense.

According to Shaquill, his brother is trying to bulk up while not losing speed and is thoroughly enjoying getting an opportunity to do more of what he did in college at Central Florida, cover and rush the passer.

Shaquem excelled on special teams last year but didn't deliver when given an opportunity to start early in the season because of the absence of K.J. Wright. However, Shaquem was just a rookie then and not quite ready for that role. He, according to his bother, hopes to be better prepared this season.

"I think it's going to be a different year for him," Shaquill Griffin said. 

That's the goal for both Griffin brothers. 

"I want to be an elite player," Shaquill Griffin said. "I want to be one of the greats. But first I've got to become a better person before I can truly change my game."

Could Seattle Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin take on a new role this season?

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USA Today Images

Could Seattle Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin take on a new role this season?

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Shaquem Griffin emerged as a feel good story in the NFL in his first year.

Now with a full season under his belt, Griffin is settling into his role with Seattle and with that comes higher expectations. So, what does the outlook look like for Griffin heading in his sophomore campaign?

According to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, the team intends to give Griffin some more looks as an edge-rusher this summer. 

“We need to show him more there,” Carroll said following Tuesday’s Organized Team Activities. “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.”

Griffin's experience off the edge is not unfamiliar territory. He excelled as a pass-rusher at UCF, recording 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss in his junior and senior seasons. While the 228-pounder would be an undersized LEO, familiarity might suit him better than his current role as weakside linebacker.

“He looked comfortable playing on the edge,” Carroll said. “We’ve already had him outside some and he’s had a chance to blitz a little bit more so he’s getting started. It looks very comfortable for him to demonstrate that flexibility, which is a real asset for us.”

Griffin played just nine defensive snaps in the season opener against Denver, but took a big leap forward on special teams in 2018. He played over 200 snaps and notched 11 tackles.

Only time will tell whether or not Griffin stays at weakside linebacker or continues to line up at edge. This could certainly be something to keep an eye on during OTAs and mandatory minicamp in June.

Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin delivers touching gift to local 10-year-old: a new pair of running prosthetics

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USA Today Images

Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin delivers touching gift to local 10-year-old: a new pair of running prosthetics

Shaquem Griffin is an inspiration to many.

The Seattle Seahawks linebacker lost his left hand at the age of 4, but he did not lose sight of his dreams to one day make it to the NFL.

Now in his second year in Seattle, Griffin is making dreams come true for others. On Saturday ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers quadruple overtime game where Griffin was in attendance, he gifted 10-year-old Izzy Turkington a new pair of Össur running prosthetics. 

“These look awesome and I can’t wait to run,” Turkington, who was born with quad congenital limb differences, said after being surprised by Griffin.

The two met at the fifth annual Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) Adaptive Sports Clinics at the Nike Global Headquarters in Beaverton.

Griffin, who was selected by the Seahawks in the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft, has become a symbol for a number of challenged athletes. He was born with amniotic band syndrome, a rare condition that occurs during fetal development, and later had his left hand amputated due to significant pain.

Despite his disability, the 23-year-old did not let having one hand keep him from becoming a star at the University of Central Florida and eventually the first one-handed player drafted in the modern NFL. 

Griffin understands the challenges those like Izzy will face and he's showing them that determination and grit can conquer any supposed obstacles. 

“Just be great,” Griffin told Izzy. “It’s your dream. If it’s not crazy enough, then he's not dreaming big enough. I’m telling you, you're going to do great things and I’m going to be watching.”