When the Detroit Lions traded the Dallas Cowboys for DE Everson Griffen, the hope was that he could come in and make an immediate difference in the pass rush.
All week long, Griffen talked the talk, saying he was going to remind the Vikings about how great of a player he is.
“For him (Mike Zimmer) to call me a good player, that kind of hurts my feelings,” Griffen said last week. “On Sunday, I’m really looking forward to playing the Vikings and showing off that I am a great player.”
Then, on Sunday, during the pregame warmups, Griffen was seen “pacing around” while “yelling” and pointing at his former team.
Everson Griffen has been pacing around the Lions side of the field, for 5+ minutes, yelling and pointing at the Vikings sideline at various points, did shake hands with Britton Colquitt. Dude is fired up
— Dave Birkett (@davebirkett) November 8, 2020
Even when the game started, and Griffen was finally allowed onto the field, he never stopped talking.
“We heard Griff the first play he came in on the field,” running back Dalvin Cook said. “We were in a goal-line (offense) in the strike zone and he came on the field (saying), ‘Here I go. I’m back.’ ”
“The best part was when we all took the field and there was a moment when there was quiet, and you hear his voice from the other sideline saying, ‘Some music would be nice,’ just asking the P.A. guy to play more music,” Kirk Cousins said. “He brought that juice for the Vikings for a decade.”
“It was some words being exchanged,” Cook said. “I talked to Griff all through the game. … That’s fun, man. Griff (is) still being him, still enjoying the game, that’s (what is) most important.”
But when it came to making plays, Griffen was nowhere to be found as he only had three tackles and a deflected pass in the game. He was never able to get anywhere near Vikings’ quarterback Kirk Cousins, which is the main reason he was brought to the Lions.
Now, to be fair, Sunday was Griffen’s first game with the Lions, who were without their other defensive end, Trey Flowers.
Griffen’s passion cannot be matched by anyone else in the league and I still believe he will end up being a solid addition to the team, especially considering the cost was a conditional 6th round pick.
All of that being said, Sunday was a lot of bark and no bite. Let’s hope that moving forward, Griffen’s bite is felt early and often.