The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

More than just feel good

 


So the NFL draft concluded a little less than three weeks ago. There had been a lot of anticipation about what the Seattle Seahawks would be doing this year.

After all the “Legion of Boom” has been broken up with Richard Sherman going to San Francisco and Kam Chancellor on the possibly too injured to carry on list and Earl Thomas in Limbo for the time being.

Just a few short seasons ago most people were betting that the Seahawks would be winning their fourth Super Bowl by now but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. Too many high profile players were signed to big contracts, which left the offensive line as the place to find bargain basement players to keep the Hawks under the salary cap.

After watching Russell Wilson run for his life the last couple of seasons and Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman going down with season ending injuries in the same amount of time, the only logical thing to do is to find some young replacements.

Young talent needs to get mature in a hurry or we might be seeing some difficult seasons ahead especially since the Rams had a break out season last year with some fine young talent and the 49ers loading up for a run of their own. You know Richard Sherman will be playing lights out when the Hawks and 49ers meet up this fall.

I know that football fans get a little crazy when they talk about their favorite team. They know players that they’ve scouted and hope the GM, coach and owner will agree with those choices to boost the team to a playoff berth and possible Super Bowl run.

The draft is not an exact science. A great college player does not always mean they’ll be All Pro material.

Who knows, some kid that goes undrafted and played for a Division II program might become the team captain and leader in a few short years mainly because he works hard, doesn’t give in and is constantly fighting for a roster spot.

The Seahawks seem to have drafted some talent that can play the game. Only time will tell if course. Some players may have break out rookie seasons only to get injured or have the rest of the league figure out the player’s weaknesses neutralizing a former can’t miss draft pick.

In the fifth round with the 141st pick the Seahawks drafted Shaquem Griffin from the University of Central Florida. There are a couple of things that make this pick interesting.

First of all, Shaquem’s twin brother Shaquill plays cornerback for Seattle. It is rare that you see twins playing for the same professional sports team. But here they are together again.

The second thing and it might be something that made teams think twice about this kid is the fact that he only has one hand. His deformed hand was amputated at a very young boy because of the pain he endured with it. The story is interesting and the lengths the family went through to make sure this kid was able to play football are quite remarkable and inspiring.

This past fall I saw a few Central Florida football games. Watching Shaquem Griffin make plays with his speed and tenacity got me to hoping that Seattle would give him the opportunity to wear a Seahawk uniform.

His story is inspiring, but let’s face it if you can’t step up your game to the next level getting cut is most likely the end result. As a linebacker this kid ran the fastest 40-yard dash of any linebacker.

He hits like a Mack truck and he can run down backs and receivers as needed. He has played football without a hand since he was a kid and has adapted well.

When it comes to playing football he does not show signs of having a handicap he makes up for it with speed and football smarts.

Is Shaquem Griffin a lock to be a member of the next Legion of Boom? If you know anything about the NFL there are no guarantees. He has to make the roster like everyone else. What he does have is the ability to understand how to overcome huge obstacles and succeeding.

It doesn’t hurt that his brother is on the same team again.

For many people this is a feel good story and it is. For me I am a fan because this kid is fun to watch and he gives everything he has on every play. That is a trait that can’t be taught it can only be lived!

 

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