And they think they got a steal.
“He could be the next great pass rusher in our league,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier recently said, per Tom Pelissero of ESPN1500.com. “He just has to know how important it is to go hard all the
time, and I get the impression he understands that now.”
So why did he slide to round four? Said an exec from a team that took Griffen off its board, “Once you start interviewing him, you’ll call me back.”
Griffen also has a reputation for not always giving his all.
“I’ve been impressed with his work ethic and his desire to put that [inconsistency] behind him,” Frazier said. “He knows what the knocks
were on him coming out of college. We talked to him about it. He’s
making a conscious effort to rev his motor up and to go hard every play.
“We’re always on him about it, because we don’t want him to slip
back, and we’ve got players on him as well. The fact that he’s responded
to that gives me hope that he will reach the potential that we think he
Though it may have been a better idea to gush about Griffen after he inks his rookie contract (since his agent may now put a thumb on the scale), the Vikes apparently have opted to try positive reinforcement in the hopes of getting the most out of Griffen.
And they need it. With Ray Edwards holding out and unlikely to stick around beyond 2010 given the investment the team has made in the defensive line, the sooner Griffen reaches his potential, the better off the team’s defense will be.