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On to the offseason: Interceptions focus for Griffin

JACKSONVILLE, FL - January 9, 2021 - The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts for Week 18 at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars won the game, 26-11.
JACKSONVILLE, FL - January 9, 2021 - The Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts for Week 18 at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars won the game, 26-11.

JACKSONVILLE – Shaquill Griffin's goal is clear.

He wants interceptions in 2022, which means improving his hands. Which means offseason work in that area. A lot of offseason work.

"My main thing this offseason was, 'Catch the football,''' the Jaguars' cornerback said Tuesday, the second day of the team's 2022 offseason program.

For Griffin, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent from the Seattle Seahawks last offseason, that has meant a very hands-specific offseason routine. And an extensive one.

"I try to get maybe 75 to 100 catches a day," he said. "If I miss, then I'm catching on weekends, so whatever it takes."

Griffin, part of what this offseason has become a deep cornerback position including second-year corner Tyson Campbell and free-agent signee Darious Williams, turned in a solid season in his first season with the Jaguars. He typically played well in coverage as the team's top corner, and in many games "shadowed" the opposing team's top receiver one on one much of the game.

But Griffin by his count dropped four interceptions – and it was those drops that stood out when assessing his season.

"Me not being able to grab one last year is definitely something that stuck with me," he said. "I feel like I was consistent coverage-wise, but creating turnovers – making big-time play in big-time games – that's what we need. I feel like that's why they brought me here, so I feel like that's the biggest thing. The main thing was just being consistent and creating turnovers.

"I feel like if I catch the ones I'm supposed to catch, I think I'll be just fine."

Griffin, a sixth-year veteran, started 14 games in 2021 and finished the season with seven passes defensed. With Campbell developing throughout the season, the pair emerged as one of the team's stronger tandems in the second half of the season.

The Jaguars last month signed Williams as an unrestricted free agent from the Los Angeles Rams, at the time leaving undecided which of the trio will play outside and which will play in the third – slot – cornerback position.

"Put me in whatever you want me to put at – I'm ready to play," Griffin said. "I just want to win. I just want to win really, really bad. It doesn't matter where they put me – snapper, holder, punter, assistant coach, strength coach … put me anywhere. I'm ready to win."


With the Jaguars holding the No. 1 selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence – the No. 1 selection in '21 – was asked Tuesday he had any advice for this year's selection: "I'm sure whoever it is, once he gets here, I can help him a little bit. I don't know if you could come up with more challenges besides getting injured your rookie year than we had, so I'm sure I could give a little bit of advice. When I got here last year, (his focus) was just coming in earning the respect of your teammates. That's stuff you can do that it doesn't take any talent, it doesn't take any skill. You just come in and do things the right way, treat people right. I think that's going to be big. The work will show, and you'll take care of that on the field, but just how you carry yourself and treat people [is important]."


The Jaguars' coaching staff is heavy on NFL experience under Head Coach Doug Pederson, something Griffin said has been immediately evident. "It's a different feel," he said. "I love that feeling and getting a chance to be with coaches who have experience in the league. The first day we met with coaches and people were saying, 'Yeah, I was in the league 10 years, 11 years, 10 years, 12 years that have actually played. That's a person who can understand anything that I might see or go through or maybe in the future that can help me out. I feel like the atmosphere is different because it's so relatable."


Griffin: "We know what type of pressure we're up against for this season. We understand we're trying to get back to where we feel like we should be. The main thing is trusting each other. We saw and went through a lot last year. We're basing everything off trust, and we have to continue to get that. We're trying to build loyalty and that's the main focus."

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