Organized team activities and minicamp are all wrapped up for the Minnesota Vikings and defensive end Everson Griffen saw a lot of improvement from his team. He saw the young guys take steps during their time together, but he also saw the team as a whole continue to move in the right direction.
He knows all the offseason workouts are where players, especially young ones, can make improvements. They only get so many days to actually practice during the regular season, so the offseason is where they need to focus on technique, learning from their coaches and honing all the little nuances of their given positions.
The team is now in a five-week break before the start of training camp and he wants to make sure all his teammates get done what they need to get done during this time. Once they report to training camp, it’s time to focus on football.
“Guys stay out of trouble during this time and just focus on your craft,” Griffen said. “Focus on doing all the correct things to help us win a championship. If you need something to work on, go work on it. If you have to go handle some business outside of football, go handle it. But when you get back. it’s got to be about the grind.”
Players always talk about how tough an NFL training camp is. They sit in team meetings and then go outside and practice for hours at a time in the sun and the heat for six days a week.
That routine can last a month long, even if not all the time is spent in Mankato, and truly can be a grind to get through, but Griffen says he lives for the grind.
“I’m a grinder. I’m going to go out there and grind,” he said. “I’m not going to take no days off, there’s no days off taken over here. I’m trying to take my game to a whole different level. And the biggest part is, if I can take my game to a whole different level to help this team win, that’s what I have to do. Maximize my potential. And if I can maximize my full potential on each and every down to help this team win that’s what I got to do. I’m going to grind until I can’t grind no more, to get my body in tip-top shape to win a championship. That’s the bottom line.”
Like so many of his teammates, Griffen is excited about what the Vikings have going for them and believes they can win a championship this season. He believes that they just need to come together as a team, work on eliminating the costly penalties and be smart. If they have a chance to make a big play, go make it, but do not do something to hurt the rest of the team.
If they can do that, he believes there is nothing that will stand in their way, but it all starts with “the grind.”
“I’m not confident, I’m just being excited, being enthusiastic about what I do and I love my job, I love my teammates, I love the coaches here, I love the style of football we play and it’s up to us to come here and grind,” he said. “We have to grind to get where we want to go and that’s a championship.”