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Clayton: Accountability a common theme in conversations with Seahawks

Can Seahawks DE Jacob Martin take a step forward in the pass rush? (Getty)

The most interesting part about Seahawks OTAs were the many interviews of the players that came out of it. A certain accountability emerged through a lot of those conversations — some players talked about ways to improve their games, while others talked about trying to get their bodies bigger or better after last year.

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Let’s sum up what we learned:

• Cornerback Shaquill Griffin was the most candid of all the players. He talked about his disappointments from last year. In fact, he gave his season-long performance a D grade. He didn’t think his mind was right – he said he thought more about interceptions than team play – and he also thought he was a little too heavy, so he drastically changed his body with better nutrition and ended up losing 12 pounds. Griffin is now at 190 pounds and has traded wings and burgers for chicken and healthier options.

Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin changing his mindset for 2019

Jacob Martin is playing linebacker and is putting his hand on the ground to rush the quarterback. His plan is no nonsense. Martin did well at times last year. He’s the one quick twitch pass-rusher on the roster. He talked about the craziest parts of being a rookie, which for him is the preparation before the rookie season. When draft prospects train for the Scouting Combine, they train like track stars, with running and drills, not football work. This offseason, Martin concentrated on getting his body ready for football, not 40-yard dashes. Martin is now a strong 245 pounds. He recently went to Von Miller’s pass-rush seminar. Many of the players who were there — including former Seahawk Frank Clark — have similar body types to Martin. He’s entering 2019 more confident, with the goal of a double-digit sack season.

• Running back Rashaad Penny talked about his rookie season and the finger injury that slowed him at training camp. He had never really been hurt prior to coming to the NFL. He got a little bit heavy and was trying to catch up at the running back position all season. Now, his weight is back in the 220 range. He’s running well and he’s more confident about what he needs to do. He had plenty of work in the OTAs with Chris Carson missing time because of knee surgery.

• Kicker Jason Myers talked about coming back to the Seahawks after being cut last summer. Special teams coach Brian Schneider said the team charted every kick and Sebastian Janikowski did beat him out as a kicker. Myers ultimately went to the Pro Bowl after signing with the New York Jets. Schneider felt the experience of being cut and then signing and kicking the next week allowed Myers to grow. Now, he’s under contract for the next four years.

• Brian Schneider also talked about return options on special teams. Tyler Lockett is a Pro Bowl caliber returner, but his move to the No. 1 receiving spot might cut down some of his return possibilities. David Moore could get more returns. J.D. McKissic is listed as a return specialist. Keenan Reynolds could be another option.

• Wide receiver Jaron Brown is in a serious competition against Moore for a starting job. All through the OTAs, Pete Carroll and other coaches said great things about Brown’s performance last year. In fact, coaches felt he was underused. When they did use him, he was effective. Brown said he’s added 10 pounds of muscle and is now at 220. He’s very good on special teams and is excellent in the red zone.

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