Vikings DE Griffen wants to put offseason issues behind him

Everson Griffen won't deny that his offseason has been unacceptable. Now the Minnesota Vikings defensive end is trying to show his team that he's back on the right track.

Griffen was arrested twice in the Los Angeles area in January, but he relocated to Minnesota last month to focus on training for a new season, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Saturday.

"I had a little rough stretch," said Griffen, who works out daily with linebacker E.J. Henderson, linebacker Jasper Brinkley and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. "Coaches want me back, and that's the place for me to be. ... I'm just trying to make changes. I've got big years coming up. I'm just trying to show the Minnesota Vikings I'm here for good."

Griffen was arrested for allegedly being drunk in public and resisting arrest over the course of one week (the charges were later dropped, he said). When the 23-year-old later announced that he was hosting a Facebook-advertised party in Las Vegas, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier intervened. The party was called off after Frazier delivered a clear message on what's expected from Griffen both on and off the field.

"He said, 'Know what you're here for,' " Griffen said. "I'm here to play football. I'm here to represent the Minnesota Vikings, and I want to represent them in a good way, not a bad way."

Griffen was a fourth-round draft pick by the Vikings last year after skipping his senior season at USC, and the team acknowledged his penchant for inconsistent play. But Griffen saw more playing time toward the end of his rookie season and finished with 11 tackles, also playing on special teams. The 6-foot-3, 275-pounder in line to compete for a more significant role in 2011 with starter Ray Edwards on the verge of free agency.

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