Tuesday, July 10, 2012
BBAO: Everson Griffen prepping as a LB
By Kevin Seifert
We're Black and Blue All Over:
Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com culled an interesting nugget this week: Minnesota Vikings coaches have told third-year player Everson Griffen that he will be a linebacker when training camp opens later this month.
I get more questions about Griffen than perhaps any other backup player in this division, mostly because he appears to have elite athletic ability and some good pass rush skills but is buried on the depth chart behind defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison. He has never played linebacker, and at this point his 263 pounds is heavy for a 4-3 linebacker, but the Vikings are smart to try to find alternative ways to get him on the field.
Perhaps Griffen will be of particular use in nickel and special packages when the Vikings are using only three down linemen. Or perhaps he could perform well as a roving standup defensive end. Whatever form it takes, there's nothing wrong with trying to get your best athletes onto the field.
Continuing around the NFC North: