Shockingly, despite my vocal remonstrances to the contrary, the Vikings are moving ahead with plans to make sure that Everson Griffen receives serious snaps as a linebacker, and Griffen has responded by dropping 10 pounds.
Griffen said on Monday that Minnesota Vikings coaches have told him he'll be a linebacker when camp opens on July 27, and the multitalented end already has shed weight to around 263 pounds to get ready.
Everson has fully embraced this role, and is fully committed to learning the new position. Excited to get on the field, Griffen apparently impressed coaches while playing as a linebacker on the last day of minicamp. The Vikings front office and the coaching staff have also been anxious to get the unique athlete onto the field, citing his raw talent and athleticism.
As we've predicted, he'll most likely be a Will linebacker at camp, backing up Erin Henderson. Henderson rotated into the middle linebacker position while EJ was injured on a number of downs, so there is a possibility that Erin could cover for Brinkley, the presumed starter at Mike, while Griffen covers for Henderson.
Griffen still sees himself rotating along the defensive line as well, and is eager to get onto the field any way he can:
He doesn't expect his time on the line or as a Joker are over either.
"I expect to be doing that, too," Griffen said. "When camp starts, whatever they've got for me, I'm just going to execute. I'm just going to go out there and -- no buts this time, this and this. Execute my assignment and make plays and show them that I'm ready to play, that I'm mature enough, that I'm ready and I'm trying to take it to that next step.
Regardless of how one feels about Griffen's "switch" from defensive end to linebacker, there is no question that the Vikings' lack of depth at linebacker is a serious concern.
Perhaps this move will bear real fruit and will be regarded as a brilliant move by the front office. While I don't think this is the cleverest move by the Vikings, I can only hope that they've seen much more than we have from Everson Griffen.