Everson Griffen is a full-time defensive end once again.
This is the right move by the Vikings coaching staff. The decision to move the athletic Griffen to outside linebacker in a 4-3 defensive scheme always seemed like a bad fit. Griffen's a pass rusher, first and second, and forcing him to cover tight ends and running backs in the Vikings Cover Two never appeared to be a good use of his skills. A pass rushing linebacker in a 3-4 defense? Yes, I could see Griffen doing well there. But the Vikings – as fans know – don't play the 3-4.
The switch is not only good for Griffen, it's good for the Vikings defense. If the Vikings really want to limit the amount of snaps starting ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison play in 2012, why would they turn their best non-starting end into a linebacker?
I have a suspicion that Griffen's move back to defensive end might be a response to the play of D'Aundre Reed in the 49ers game. I wasn't able to watch the game (no feed in Winnipeg at the time), so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but Reed – who, if Viking practices were games, would be an All-Pro already – didn't do much with the playing time he got with the starters last Friday. That had to worry head coach Leslie Frazier and his staff. Now they have a more known commodity to turn to as the first defensive end off the bench when they need to give Allen or Robison a blow.