The Everson’s New “Groove”

Andre Patterson
Oct 27, 2017; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) and defensive line coach Andre Patterson during practice at the Hazelwood Centre. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Like most Vikings fans, I was very happy to see the team bring Everson Griffen back (especially since they got such a bargain). He looked like his old self on Sunday. Seeing him use that spin move to snag the sack on Russell Wilson was awesome:

That’s the kind of explosiveness we’ve grown accustomed to seeing.

In his Monday press conference, Zim was asked about Griffen: “I thought he did well this week. He looked good to me, he looked like the old Everson.” Zim goes on to note that Griff showed good acceleration as he was lined up at both defensive end and at 3T. Keep in mind that Griff is not only returning to the Vikings, but also bouncing back from a concussion in Week 2 that came from a car accident. He’s still getting his feet underneath him (something he admitted in his own press conference) and yet he’s making a positive impact.

Griffen covered a lot of different topics in his press conference. He explained that he respected the recovery process following the accident. He also addressed where he’s at with his game: “I’m still working on getting back in my groove.” He indicated that he’s slowly making progress, and that he hopes the upcoming week will see him get better. He again noted that “my groove is coming.”

He also was complimentary about his QB: “For one, Kirk is playing his ass off.” It’s a notable comment following Griffen’s earlier tweets about Zim not wanting Kirk in Minnesota. He went on to praise the OL and running game. Since returning, Griffen has not only done everything right on the field, but also off the field. He has been saying all the right things in press conferences.

Danielle Hunter has been really good through three weeks. We need more production from the other defensive linemen. Griffen is currently leading the charge as the main option opposite Hunter. If Griff can emerge as a legit DE2, the entire line will benefit. Our DTs are going to be strong, and there are some good depth pieces at DE. We really just need one edge rusher to elevate so that we have some balance in our pass rush.

If Griffen keeps getting his groove back, our Vikings’ defense will become increasingly formidable. He played 34 snaps on Sunday, which was 64% of the defensive snaps. He had the sack to go alongside a TFL, 3 total tackles, and 2 QB hits. We’re going to need more of that to get to .500 following the Cleveland game.