RENTON -- Seahawks rookie cornerback Shaquill Griffin already knows what is coming his way.
In facing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in his first career regular season game, Griffin knows that the All-Pro, Super Bowl winning quarterback will come after him early and often. As a rookie in Seattle's loaded defense, he knows he'll be seen as the vulnerable piece capable of being attacked successfully. Now it's up to him to be able to hold up against the challenge.
"I'm definitely expecting that and that's something I'm preparing for," Griffin said. "Even in practice, they continue to throw the ball on me even when I'm tired. That's something that's going to happen and I feel like I'm good with keeping poise and understanding that I'm going to be put in that situation again. It's a task I'm ready to take control of and I'm excited for."
One of Seattle's four third-round draft picks, Griffin will have the most visible role of any of the team's rookies early in the season. Griffin will be one of three cornerbacks on the field when Seattle uses it's nickel package of five defensive backs. While Jeremy Lane is set to start opposite or Richard Sherman, Griffin will be the player substituted against passing personnel.
With his lack of experience and track record at the professional level, Griffin might as well be wearing a bullseye on his back when he takes the field in Green Bay on Sunday. Rodgers will test Griffin until he can prove he can handle the pressure and be successful.
"That's going to be very exciting. It's going to be different, but I'm excited about it," Griffin said. "It's a situation that I want to be in. It's a task that I want to take and get a chance to prove to people I really belong here and I'm here to make plays and help this team get back to a Super Bowl and bring one back home."
Griffin has already made a strong impressions on teammates. Both cornerback Richard Sherman and wide receiver Doug Baldwin have spoken highly of the way Griffin has carried himself since joining the team in May.
"The way he approaches the game, I mean he is just poised out there," Sherman said. "They catch a ball on him and he isn’t turning, his eyes wide, shocked, confused, frustrated, he just turns around next play, bang, goes out there and steps and kicks and gets back to technique and that is pretty much all you can ask for a rookie. I have not seen very many rookies in my time in the league that poised."
Baldwin was equally as complimentary.
"Shaquill is probably one of my favorite rookies ever when it comes to the mental side of the game," he said. "Nothing phases him. It is pretty incredible for a rookie to come in at that position, to have that amount of poise, that amount of mental strength, he is phenomenal."
Griffin said the best advice he's received so far came from Carroll while the team was traveling to Los Angeles for the team's preseason opener against the Chargers.
"(Carroll) came to me and told to just relax," he said. "'At the end of the day you work on your technique, you continue to focus on your technique during the game and that's really all you need. There's nothing to overthink, to try to find more stuff right before the game. Everything we pretty much went over is what you're going to see.' Just have to pretty much just relax and understand that my technique is going to save me and I can rely on that pretty much the whole game and the whole season."
"Everybody is pretty much sleeping and it's just me going through plays, going through plays and he didn't want me to overwhelm myself. At the end of the day you've just got to play football. That's all there is to it."
Photo Credit: CARSON, CA - AUGUST 13: Antonio Gates #85 of the Los Angeles Chargers scores a touchdown against defensive back Shaquill Griffin #26 of the Seattle Seahawks during the first quarter of their pre season football game at the StubHub Center August 13, 2017, in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)