Coach opens up on 1-handed rookie's first NFL camp - 'We had to chill him out'


Shaquem Griffin is out to prove to all those teams that passed on him in the NFL draft that they made a mistake.

Ultimately, Griffin, who has only one hand, was selected in the fifth round with the 141st pick by the Seattle Seahawks.

When Griffin arrived at rookie mini camp last week, he was pumped up to show his stuff — perhaps too pumped up.

“Shaquem looked very aggressive,“ Seattle coach Pete Carroll said via “He was trying to run through [everything]. We had to slow him down in some stuff early in the practice. In the walkthroughs he was going too hard so we had to chill him out a little bit.”

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“But he’s very excited about being here, and he’s a very, very good looking prospect,” Carroll added of the rookie linebacker.

Griffin, who was born with a congenital disorder called amniotic band syndrome, had his left hand amputated when he was just 4 years old.

But that has never stopped him or even slowed him down. Last year he was named second-team All-American after leading the University of Central Florida to a 12-0 record.

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After Griffin was drafted by the Seahawks on April 28, he put the rest of the league on notice.

“Somebody’s going to get embarrassed. I guarantee it’s not going to be me, so you better give me your best shot because I’m coming at you 100 mph with every single play,” Griffin said.

In Seattle, he’ll be playing with his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin, a cornerback who was drafted by the Seahawks in the third round in 2017.

After his first day of rookie minicamp, Griffin talked about his experience.

“It’s a tremendous honor to be here. It’s been a great experience so far, being able to meet new guys and being able to interact with the coaches. It’s everything I thought about, having that family vibe. They’re not here to get mad at you, they’re here to coach you and make you a better player,” he said.

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Griffin said it’s been a whirlwind few weeks since he became the first one-handed player drafted into the NFL, but now that’s over with.

“It’s time for us to get to work,” he said.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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