After playing sparingly his first two seasons in the NFL, Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen has slimmed down and is looking to take advantage of the coaching staff's plan to move him to linebacker during training camp, 1500ESPN.com reported Monday.
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Griffen certainly has the athleticism to pull off the position switch, but an injury would be about the only way a starting role opens this season. Chad Greenway currently is locked in as the starting strong side linebacker, and Erin Henderson is penciled in on the weak side. 1500ESPN.com added that the Vikings want Griffen to report to camp at 265 pounds, an indication that they still have plans to use him in the "Joker" role (a hybrid defensive end/linebacker) that allowed him to pick up the first four sacks of his career last season.
The 2010 fourth-round pick out of USC is currently at 263 pounds -- down 10 pounds from his 273-pound playing weight -- and just wants to start making plays at the NFL level.
"I want to be one of them guys that's going to be a big impact on us winning games and going to the playoffs and even try to win a Super Bowl," Griffen said. "It's early right now, but I'm just ready to go, man. Ready to just get out there and show Minnesota what I can do. Show the owners, show just everybody how I can contribute to the team."