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The Everson Griffen Outside Linebacker Experiment Has Ended

The experiment is over.

The Minnesota Vikings had moved Everson Griffen from defensive end to outside linebacker at the beginning of training camp. The defensive line has quite a bit of depth, especially when compared to the Vikings' linebacking corps, so the Minnesota coaching staff moved Griffen back in the front seven.

Griffen accumulated four sacks and 14 pressures in very limited time behind Jared Allen and Brian Robison last season. It made sense that the Vikings would try to get him on the field in another capacity.

However, 1500 ESPN is reporting that Griffen's career as a linebacker was very short-lived. The Vikings are moving him back to his original position at defensive end.

"We saw enough of him at linebacker where we feel like this is going to be better for him," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We talked to him Sunday night when we got back, and he agrees that it's better for him to focus on that position, and Erin [Henderson] and Marvin Mitchell are really battling for that spot. They're doing a good job competing."

While moving Griffen back to defensive end might seem like admitting defeat, Frazier believes that Griffen gained invaluable experience during his short time at linebacker. "Before, he was always practicing with his hand on the ground, so he'd sporadically end up in situations where he was off the ball, but it was just because of the call. Now, he has a better feel, so he should be more improved when we get into live situations."

Frazier and new defensive coordinator Alan Williams have preached more rotation among the defensive linemen throughout the preseason, so Griffen could still see more time on the field than he did last season.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.