The Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen is a man of his word, and now Jimmy Garoppolo knows it.
Last Sunday, the Minnesota defensive player was mic’d up in week one game against the San Francisco 49ers where he showcased his quarterback-harassing skills against the second-year QB.
Griffen contributed to the Vikings' 24-16-win recording four tackles, and a half-sack. The defensive line was essential for Minnesota’s victory, with 21 pressures over 30 pass rushing snaps—forcing two bad throws that ended up in interceptions—and sacking Garoppolo three times as well, who finished the game completing just 45 percent of his passes. The pass rusher Danielle Hunter even declared that San Francisco’s QB seemed “scared” as the game went on.
“As the game goes on, you have to bring the pressure on him. You see that he’s starting to get scared.”
At the end of the video that NFL Films released you can hear Griffen mentioning that they will be great with that rotation. Head coach Mike Zimmer wants to see his potent starting D-line healthy throughout the whole season, so he wants to give constant rest to the starters most of the games. This weekend, all eight active defensive linemen spent time on the field, and we could see that Griffen is happy about it, he confirmed it this Wednesday.
“Can I stay out there and still do the plays I came out [for]? 100 percent,” Griffen said. “But why? Give Stephen [Weatherly] or [Tashawn] Bower, let them go out there and get their opportunity to go prove they can play. We in it for the long haul.”
Even though this rotation might be a risky move, it could be worth it. Especially for someone like Griffen, a 30-year-old player who missed some time in the preseason due to a leg injury. However, Zimmerman knows that this cannot be done every game, especially next week facing Green Bay.
“I think we’ll do a better job with it, and I think it’ll help us down the road,” Zimmer said. “But it will also help us in these particular games. Now, this week will be hard, because they won’t let us substitute, but we’ll just have to get out there and go.”