Everson Griffen's 'relentless' pass rush is why Vikings signed him to extension

From ESPN - October 13, 2017

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- Another elite skill of future Hall-of-Famer Aaron Rodgers? His impeccable recall.

When asked to detail the growth hes seen over the years in Everson Griffen, the Green Bay quarterback didnt just describe the defensive ends athletic prowess or break down any of the nine times Griffen sacked him in the Packers' last nine meetings with the Vikings.

Instead, Rodgers traveled way down memory lane to when Griffen was a powerful force on special teams.

I remember watching him on gunner, a punt team, Rodgers said. I said, Whos this humongous guy out of the gunner? Hes huge. Hes fast. I remember a touchdown I threw to Jordy (Nelson) at the Metrodome where he almost caught him. He was on the backside of the play and almost ran Jordy down. We know about his athleticism. I just think every year as a veteran player, you continue to master your craft.

Griffen is tied with Jacksonvilles Calais Campbell for the fourth-most sacks in the NFL with six. The Vikings DE has notched a sack in five straight games, an accomplishment he last achieved during the 2014 season. Against Rodgers this weekend, Griffen will reach for a career milestone of six straight games with a sack.

The consistency hes shown though the first quarter-plus of the season is why the Vikings signed him to a four-year extension worth $58 million with $34 million in guaranteed money.

Griffen credits the work he has put in to prepare himself differently this season, taking account for the mental aspects of the game. During the offseason, the defensive end also worked to achieve more flexible, explosive motions through movement therapy.

Hard work, Griffen said. Getting with my D-Line coach Andre Patterson each and every week just talking to him, really getting dialed in. I worked on my mental. This game is 80 percent mental, 20 percent physical. Thats really it. Its an old saying, but it is. The guys that do it great, like Aaron Rodgers, he can lock in for a whole game. His complete focus is on the game and thats what Im trying to do. Keep on locking in and keep on focusing.


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