Experimentation time has come to an end and Griffen is heading back to defensive end. Coach Leslie Frazier explained that Griffen wasn’t going to beat out other players for time at outside linebacker, so the team thought it best to move him back to a familiar role up front.
“We saw enough of him at linebacker where we feel like this is going to be better for him,” Frazier said, via Tom Pelissero of ESPN1500.com. “We talked to him Sunday night when we got back, and he agrees that it’s better for him to focus on that position, and Erin (Henderson) and Marvin Mitchell are really battling for that spot. They’re doing a good job competing.”
Minnesota will now need to figure out another way to get Griffen on the field so they can take advantage of his pass rushing abilities. Griffen had four sacks and 14 pressures while playing a quarter of the team’s snaps last season, which was all the playing time available behind Jared Allen and Brian Robison. The team has talked about resting the starters more this year, but those suggestions can sometimes disappear when teams are faced with actual game situations instead of idealized rotations drawn up months before games get underway.