On Thursday the Vikings named CB Cedric Griffin the team’s recipient of the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award, an honor NFL players do not take lightly because it’s voted on by their peers. The award is named in honor of Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. The award is given to one player from each team who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.
On Friday, Griffin met with reporters in the Winter Park lobby and he expressed gratitude to his teammates for honoring him with the award and he also made clear the confidence he has in his recovery from a torn ACL he suffered early in the season. The injury to Griffin this season was especially tough to take because the physical CB had suffered the same injury in his other knee during last season’s NFC Championship Game.
It was clear in listening to Griffin, though, that he’s confident he’ll return to the field for the 2011 season and not miss a beat. That’s a good sign for the Vikings and for a secondary that missed him this season. Here are a few other thoughts from his conversation with reporters…
– Griffin said one tough aspect of this injury was missing most of the season. Before 2010, he had never missed a season with injury through high school, college and the NFL.
– Asked if there were ever times in his rehab process where he felt discouraged, Griffin said no. The only time he felt frustration was on the sidelines of the NFC Championship Game last year after he suffered the first knee injury. Since then, he said, he’s learned to channel that frustration to his rehab.
– Griffin said he didn’t look at his absence from the CB position with frustration. Rather, he said he was encouraged to see other players, such as Asher Allen and Chris Cook, gain valuable experience that will make them better players in the future and that will give the Vikings secondary valuable depth going forward.
Tags: Cedric Griffin
Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 122 Comments »
Vikings rookie QB Joe Webb has run the gamut of media coverage since out-dueling his counterpart, Eagles QB Michael Vick, on Tuesday night – and rightfully so.
Webb is truly the “feel good” story at the end of a tumultuous season. The athletic rookie was drafted in the 6th round as a WR, returned to the QB position at rookie mini-camp, was added to the 53-man roster at the beginning of the season as the #3 QB, was not activated for a game until the Dec. 5 victory over the Buffalo Bills where he suffered a hamstring injury and this past week he made his first-career start, guiding his team to an improbable 24-14 upset victory on the road.
“Yeah, you never know how things will pan out,” Webb acknowledged on Thursday before the team’s practice. “Last year I was training to be a receiver, and at the rookie mini-camp all of a sudden I was back at quarterback. I’m more comfortable at that position because I’ve been playing it multiple years. It was just a great experience for me; a great game by the Vikings. Even though some people said I had a great performance, I still feel like there’s room for me to improve.”
Webb has been working with the 1st-team offense in practice since the week following the Dec. 13 loss to the NY Giants when Brett Favre ended his 297 consecutive games started streak and backup QB Tarvaris Jackson suffered a season-ending toe injury late in the game. The injuries to both Favre and Jackson have allotted Webb the starting role, a responsibility that demands a comprehensive knowledge of the playbook and the expectation for continued improvement.
The way Webb composed himself on Tuesday night was superb taking into account it was his first start and in the national spotlight, but Vikings Interim Head Coach Leslie Frazier wants to make sure that the coaching staff can cater to his abilities in order for him to improve this Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
“We’re going to try to put a couple wrinkles in there that might be able to help him,” Frazier said. “Especially the fact that he’s gained more confidence now because of the success that he had on Tuesday night, we can open it up a little bit. Not very much more because of the time that we have to prepare, but we do want to give him some opportunities, both in the pass game and try to do some things in the run game that may open up some things for him as well. We will give him a little bit more.”
Webb will continue to face speculation and criticism from the media on whether or not he will become a capable starting QB in the NFL in the future, but that only adds inspiration to a young player that lacks none of it.
“That’s just motivation for me,” Webb stated. “Coming into the draft, people saying I’m going to be a receiver and things like that, it was just motivation for when I got my time to play at quarterback and take advantage of the opportunity.”
Tags: Joe Webb, Leslie Frazier
Posted in All, CJ Siewert | 50 Comments »