In 20 games against the Green Bay Packers, Everson Griffen did plenty of damage for the Minnesota Vikings, racking up 11.5 sacks, 27 quarterback hits and 53 tackles in those contests.
All but a few of them were with Mike McCarthy on the sideline for the Packers.
Now, McCarthy’s excited about the prospects of coaching Griffen rather than against him after the Dallas Cowboys inked the defensive end to a one-year deal on Wednesday.
“I can’t say enough about Everson Griffen,” McCarthy said Saturday in a video conference. “Just the fact of being able to compete against him twice a year. He was always a primary focus for us offensively going up against him. He’s a relentless player. He brings it every down. Has great passion for the game.”
Griffen brings a decade of experience with the Vikings down to Dallas, having been a starter for the past six seasons and a Pro Bowler four times in the last five campaigns. He’s coming off a Pro Bowl year in which he had eight sacks and 41 tackles, numbers that are impressive but hardly tell the whole truth of his impact, especially in complimenting Danielle Hunter. Now he’ll join a defensive front overflowing with veteran talent that includes DeMarcus Lawrence, Gerald McCoy and Aldon Smith.
“I had an opportunity to visit with him. He’s extremely excited,” McCarthy said. “He’s a big personality, so I think he’s gonna be a great addition to our football team.”
McCarthy’s set to be a head coach for a team other than the Packers for the first time and Griffen’s set to play for a team other than the Vikings for the first time. But there’s plenty of NFC North familiarity that the two are looking to play out with success in the NFC East this season.
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