Posts tagged with: Cedric Griffin

Vikings corners think they’re among the best

Yahoo sports posted a story today about how the Vikings corners believe they are among the best tandems in the league.  Click HERE to read that story.  (It’s a short one)

Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin are the starting corners for the Vikes this year.  They have some confidence.  That is a good thing for defenders to have.

I have to say I share that confidence.

The Vikings passing defense had looked bad for years, but was it ever really the fault of players like Winfield?  I really don’t think so.  No corner in the league can cover a wide receiver for 8, 9, 10 seconds, and before this past year, that’s what the Vikings DBs were often asked to do.  The Vikings were consistently putting talented guys in their backfield, but even though their D-line was amazing against the run, it produced no pass rush at all.

Of course last year, the appearance of Jared Allen on the Vikings scene changed all that.  Allen not only had 14.5 sacks (and who knows how many hurries and knock downs), his mere presence on the line allowed guys like Kevin Williams, Ray Edwards, and Brian Robison to spend more time in the opposing team’s backfield.  The Vikings also seemed a little more willing to blitz this year as well, which also helped to pressure the other team’s QB.

The combination of the added pressure and the fact that the Vikes really do have talent in their defensive backfield meant that the Vikings skyrocketed up the stats list when it comes to pass defense.

And I really don’t see any reason it should be any different this year.

Defensive Player Profile of the Week: Cedric Griffin

Cedric Griffin

Hey Vikings fans! Meet Cedric Griffin!

Cedric has played cornerback for the Vikings for a couple years now. At first he was the nickelback, until the Vikings coaching staff realized that Fred Smoot’s ability wasn’t quite as good as his ego seemed to think. He took over for Smoot late into his rookie season, and has been starting ever since.

Here’s a short bio from wikipedia (found HERE)

Cedric Leonard Griffin (born November 11, 1982 in Natchez, Mississippi) is an American football cornerback for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League.

He was born in Natchez, Mississippi and graduated from Holmes High School in San Antonio, Texas. He played college football for The University of Texas Longhorns and was a stand-out performer on the 2005 National Championship team. He was drafted by the Vikings in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft.

Griffin played football at Holmes High School in San Antonio, Texas under the direction of head coach David Sanchez. He was an All-State Class 5A defensive back in 2000, his senior season. He also played as a wide receiver and accumulated yards rushing and in kick-off and punt returns. As a cornerback, he made 26 tackles and seven interceptions. As a wide receiver, he caught eight passes for 202 yards, including two touchdowns. The same year, he rushed for 198 yards, made a 90-yard kickoff return and returned two punts for 95 yards against Taft High. Griffin played in the first ever U.S. Army All-American Bowl on December 30th, 2000. In addition to football, he competed in track. While playing at Holmes High School, Griffin was a part of a State Semifinalist squad that fell one game short of the State Championship. Other standout athletes who played with Griffin on the Holmes football squad include Olympic Gold Medalist in 4×400 meter relay Darold Williamson, Robert Quiroga of the Arena Football League, standout defensive tackle at Baylor University Michael Gary, and Division II All-American quarterback from Texas Lutheran University Sean Salinas.

After redshirting his freshman year, Griffin played in all 51 games over the next four years, including 44 games as a starter. He recorded 271 tackles (170 solo tackles), broke up 32 passes (ranking in the school’s top 15 for pass deflections) and intercepted three others for 29 yards in interception return yards. In 2002, Griffin became the first UT player ever to return a blocked field goal for a touchdown, when he returned one 56 yards at Tulane University.[1]

As a junior, he was tabbed honorable mention All-Big 12 by the conference coaches for 2004. As a senior on UT’s 2005 National Championship team, he was a key part of the UT pass defense that ranked eighth in the nation in yards allowed by game (172.0) and fourth in the nation in pass efficiency defense (96.7 rating). In Texas’ 41-38 victory over USC for the National Championship Game, he made 8 tackles, including 6 solo tackles.

Came into training camp with the expectation of being the team’s nickel or dime back (3rd or 4th cornerback). When second year man Dovonte Edwards went down with a broken arm in the preseason many people believe it would be Griffin who would step into the Nickelback role that was vacated by Edwards when he went down with an injury. Instead the Vikings chose to go with Ronyell Whitaker, who proved to be ineffective. Griffin began getting more and more playing time as the season played on, eventually Griffin overtook a starting cornerback spot from prized free agent signing from two years earlier Fred Smoot.

Griffin has really come into his own over the last couple of years, and you have to assume he’s just going to get better. Playing alongside veteran Antoine Winfield has likely helped his development as an NFL player as well.

The Vikings need to find some depth at corner this year, but unless they come up with a HUGE free agent signing, Griffin’s job is probably pretty well protected.