This was meant to be a post about how Shaquem Griffin deserves more snaps. Given the nature of the Seattle Seahawks defense, that required me to explain why Griffin is likely better than Jordyn Brooks. Well something happened on my way to a sideways hit job on the rookie. He impressed the hell out of me. First let’s talk about Quem.
Griffin played 17 snaps and 11 of those came in Dallas’s final drive. In those 11 snaps, Shaquem pressured Dak Prescott into a scramble, twice pressured Prescott into targeting his shortest route (both completions actually cost Dallas EPA), landed a hit on the second pressure, snuffed out a screen to Ezekiel Elliott for a loss of two, broke up a pass to Cedric Wilson, and provided decent underneath coverage on the Alton Robinson sack.
If you tally all that up, subtracting no value for Prescott scrambling successfully, adding no value for merely adequate coverage on the Robinson sack, and giving him full value for Joe Looney’s penalty which robbed him of his tackle for a loss, Griffin added 1.66 points. He played exceptionally well.
Those 11 snaps represent nearly 7% of his regular season snaps in three seasons. While I am more than willing to admit that coaches have more complete info about how a player is performing, I am becoming more and more worried that Griffin has been pigeonholed into a role that’s somewhere between last resort pass rusher and mascot. He deserves better than that. The drafting of Brooks threatened to either permanently bury Quem on the depth chart or lead to his departure.
That’s a false dilemma in my opinion. I see no absolute reason both players can’t see the field at the same time, because apart from Jamal Adams, Quem and Brooks are likely Seattle’s best situational blitzers. For now injury has cut the Gordian Knot, but when Brooks returns, I hope Seattle doesn’t fall into the narrow thinking of either/or. As for Brooks, it wasn’t really so much what he did as how he did it.