The Free Press, Mankato, MN


August 5, 2013

Maturing Griffen looks for more playing time


Griffen fell to the fourth round in the draft out of USC after his junior year, and Vikings director of college scouting Scott Studwell said described Griffen that day as a guy who "enjoyed the college life a little bit" when acknowledging the discipline concerns that caused him to slip down the board.

He played sparingly that first season, and shortly after it was over he was arrested for an alleged assault on a police officer in Los Angeles during a scuffle that ensued from a traffic stop, though a felony charge was not pursued by authorities. In 2011, Griffen's playing time increased as he became the primary backup to Allen and Robison after the departure of Ray Edwards. But he was still prone to untimely and costly penalties, and his main value remained on special teams.

Last year, while carrying the grief of the sudden death of his mother, Griffen collected nine of his 12 career sacks, including one in the playoff game at Green Bay. To get there, Vikings used the three sacks he had against the Packers the week before in that must-win regular season finale. Griffen had 28 quarterback hurries over those 17 games, and he also produced his first career interception and touchdown.

"He has been as dialed in as I've seen him right now and really was for the last half of last year," defensive line coach Brendan Daly said.

Said Robison: "I think we've all tried to help him. We've seen that he's going to be a great player in this league for years to come, so we want to help him come along. The better he is, the better we are as a group."

Last summer, the Vikings toyed with using Griffen at outside linebacker, intrigued by the athleticism in his 6-foot-3, 275-pound frame. The experiment quickly ended when both sides determined there wasn't a fit.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Live Moondogs coverage
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Goodell backs Rice ban Andre Reed reflects on Hall of Fame Man with no arms throws first pitch Wade supports LeBron's decision Dombrowski on bringing David Price to Detroit How the MLB Trade Deadline Will Affect the Postseason Steelers feeling a sense of urgency in camp Reaction to Ray Rice's comments Marshawn Lynch Ends Holdout - @TheBuzzeronFOX 5 things I think I think about the Atlanta Falcons Paul Breitner: We're sure Julian Green will be a great player for Bayern Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Morosi: Tigers pick up Price from Rays Rice intends to become advocate of domestic violence with wife Janay when time is right Ray Rice issues apology for his part in a domestic violence incident A's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes Price on dealing with trade rumors Arian Foster Answers Questions With Same Boring Answer - @TheBuzzeronFox Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Cardinals make Peterson highest paid CB