Rookie DE Griffen Soaking In Training Camp Experience

Posted by cjsiewert on August 6, 2010 – 1:00 pm

The Vikings held another up-beat practice Friday morning including an array of nice plays and hard hits with each player suited up in shoulder pads. A week has now passed by here at Verizon Vikings Training Camp and, as Mike included in his Friday morning observations, each position group has improved on a daily basis coupled with numerous stand-out performances by players such as WR Bernard Berrian, LB Jasper Brinkley and rookie CB Chris Cook.

Unlike my observations of the offensive linemen from Thursday afternoon’s practice, today was a great opportunity to gauge how the battle down in the trenches is coming along. With the linemen being able to make full contact blocks, the groups of both offensive and defensive linemen solidified my impressions over the past week in how each player is progressing.

T Patrick Brown looked even more impressive today in his blocking capability by taking on players such as Pro Bowl DE Jared Allen, 4-year veteran Brian Robison and rookie Everson Griffen. The battle that took place down in the trenches that impressed me the most this morning was that between Brown and Griffen, as both players are scratching and clawing their way to find a spot on the 53-man roster.

“It’s finally coming along,” Griffen said. “I’m feeling good, I’m happy just to be out here being a Minnesota Viking. My dream finally came true and it’s all about working. Once you get to this level it’s all about self-motivation and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Having a week of training camp under his belt now, Griffen also acknowledged that he has been able to form close relationships with the core of defensive linemen. Griffen was selected in the 4th round (100th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft and was able to relate to both Ray Edwards and Robison, as they were both selected in the 4th round in 2006 and 2007, respectively.

“I relate to Ray and Robison,” Griffen said. “They just help me out in there. I’m a rookie and I just got to come along and pick up the tempo and go hard all the time.”

This morning’s practice also saw the 1st team offense going against the 2nd team defense. This session allowed Griffen to butt heads with 9-year veteran Bryant McKinnie. Going heads-up against a Pro Bowler such as McKinnie has given Griffen the opportunity to rise up to the challenge and prove that he is capable of performing at the NFL level.

“Oh man, it’s fun,” Griffen mentioned about going against McKinnie. “It’s only going to make me better in the long run. I just have a blast going against him every day.”

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