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Shaquill Griffin: ‘Trust factor is perfect right now’ for Seahawks’ defense

CB Shaquill Griffin spoke on how the Seahawks' defense has continued to excel in 2018. (AP)

The Seahawks’ defense was a lot more of a question mark heading into the season than it had been in previous years. But after six games, Seattle still ranks among the leaders in some key defensive stats: fifth in the NFL at 19.5 points allowed per game, and sixth in the league – and tops in the NFC West – at 326.7 yards allowed per game.

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That fact is made all the more remarkable when you consider the Seahawks saw the departures of Pro Bowlers Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor following last season, then lost All-Pro free safety Earl Thomas to a season-ending injury late last month.

Second-year cornerback Shaquill Griffin is part of the new youthful core leading Seattle’s defense, and during an interview with 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore, he said each position group on that side of the ball is deserving of credit.

“You can tell, everybody’s able to count on each other,” Griffin said. “That trust factor is so perfect right now within the whole DBs and the whole defense itself – you can tell like everybody’s playing for each other. It’s not one person trying to stand out in front of everybody else. It’s everybody making plays and counting on each other.

“Between the defense – the D-line, the linebackers, the D-backs – I feel like everybody’s competing with each other. … When a defense does that, it’s so much easier to get turnovers and get the things that you want out of a defense.”

Speaking specifically about his position group, Griffin said the reason the secondary hasn’t seen a drop-off despite the loss of original Legion of Boom stars Sherman, Chancellor and Thomas is because the style of play hasn’t changed.

“I just feel like there’s nothing really different how we’re playing and how the original Legion of Boom guys played,” he said. “I feel like we’re still running and hitting. I feel like the main thing we’re focused on still is to get the ball, which they did also. So I feel like it’s not really a big difference, it’s just you can tell you’ve got that younger group, the new faces, everybody’s just hungry to try to prove a point. Right now it’s cool to be like that underdog type of look because now, the only thing you can do is elevate your game and just continue to excel.”

Griffin also talked about what he needed to change to switch sides and take over Sherman’s old spot, as well as how boxing helped him to use both his right and left hands as a defender. You can hear the entire interview in this podcast of Tuesday’s episode of Danny, Dave and Moore.

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