When Vikings coach Leslie Frazier announced that the Everson Griffen as linebacker experiment was over, it carried the unspoken message that the defensive end just wasn’t quite as good at it as they hoped.
But Griffen said the move was his idea.
“It was mostly my decision,” Griffen said, via Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com. “I just feel like I’m a better defensive end. I love defensive end and I love linebacker, too, but I think I can best help this team at defensive end. At this time, I’m just trying to perfect my craft at one position. I’m not trying to be bouncing around.
“I just want to play one specific position and be great at that position instead of trying to do it all. I’m just trying to keep my mindset shorter and stay focused on what I’ve got to get done, and that’s defensive end.”
When the coach was asked if it actually was the player’s idea, Frazier responded: “If that’s what Everson said, it’s a good thing. It’s good for our team and he’s going to do well.”
The Vikings were desperate for help when they went down this path, but have since found Marvin Mitchell a viable backup to Erin Henderson.
So now Griffen goes back into a deep pool of pass-rushers behind starters Jared Allen and Brian Robison. Griffin had four sacks in 25 percent of the Vikings defensive snaps last year.
“My forte is causing havoc with the quarterback and just coming off the ball and making plays before the plays even start,” Griffen said. “I love linebacker. I love doing it. I’ll always have it in my repertoire, but defensive end — that’s where it’s at for me.”
If you say so, Ev.