Vikes' Griffen has good body, no brains

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:57 PM ET

TORONTO - Everson Griffen, the Vikings defensive end, may want to consider just staying home for the next while.

Lately, Griffen can’t seem to leave his house without taking the figurative cream pie in the face. He’s been arrested twice since Friday, and the indiscretions are going from bad to worse.

His problems started last Friday when he was arrested in Hollywood for public drunkenness.

He turned that into a crime wave Monday when police arrested him again, this time charging him with felony battery on a police officer.

The 23-year-old was pulled over at a traffic stop and didn’t have identification. He reportedly became “aggressive” when questioned by the police.

Griffen attempted to run away and then is reported to have assaulted one of the officers who was pursuing him. Griffen was tasered and arrested near the USC campus.

Griffen’s maturity had been questioned as early as last year’s draft when some teams left him off their selection boards, dropping him from a potential first rounder. The Vikings took him in the fourth round — a rare physical specimen without the adult sensibilities to match.

During his second arrest in four days, Griffen told police he “did not want to go back to jail.”

Moral of the story: For some people, couch potato may be a viable career option.

Benson buoyed by firing

Cedric Benson is running to daylight again.

The running back has always suspected that the only people preventing the Bengals from having a great ground game were the Bengals themselves.

“It’s good to see them make some moves and it will help,” Benson said after the club fired offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski. “It will be a benefit in a positive way. It was a smart move that can benefit the team and everyone.”

Benson and Bratkowski have been singing out of different playbooks ever since the running back arrived three years ago.

Some of the distrust evaporated in 2009 when Cincinnati relied more on a ground attack and Benson ran for 1251 yards on 301 carries in 13 games.

But the team signed Terrell Owens and tried to switch to more of a passing attack that failed miserably. Meantime, Benson’s numbers dropped, too. He had 1,111 yards with five fumbles, in a full 16 games. That’s a drop in 0.7 yards per carry.

A free agent, speculation was that Benson wouldn’t be back but Bratkowski’s departure at least may give him pause to consider a return.

Alosi resigns

Sal Alosi finally took the fall.

The question remains, did the Jets now-former strength coach jump or was he pushed.

The club has announced that Alosi, suspended indefinitely after tripping a Miami player in a Dec. 12 game, has resigned.

Alosi tripped Nolan Carroll, a gunner on the Dolphins punt-coverage team. The following day, Alosi admitted he set up a wall of Jets players, offered a public apology and was suspended for the remainder of the season without pay and fined $25,000.

But controversy swirled when there were indications that Alosi didn’t act alone and that it was part of the club’s strategy to deter players from running near the sideline on kick coverage. Even head coach Rex Ryan was implicated.

Alosi released a statement through the team, saying in part, “After the events that have transpired, I feel it’s best for my family and me to look for a fresh start.”

The Jets have denied setting up the wall was part of team strategy but it seemed unlikely that a strength coach would have the power to arrange such a strategy without the approval of someone higher up the food chain.

There is no word from either the Jets or Alosi whether he was given a settlement in return for his continued silence. The Jets won’t comment and Alosi has declined to discuss the matter.

Now, we couldn’t suggest that someone has dropped the cone of silence over this thing. But, you might ...

House of pain

Even if he wins the Super Bowl, Steelers linebacker James Harrison is going to end up holding the short end of the stick with which he’s been beating the NFL.

Harrison’s wild, untempered tackling has made him a frequent visitor to the league’s house of detention. He isn’t happy that the NFL docked him $100,000 for illegal hits during the season. Even if he wins the Super Bowl, Harrison is still going to come out short-changed because the winner’s share is only $88,000.

Of course, there is one really big upside. The guy who took his money and told him he was playing this game all wrong, Roger Goodell, would have to share the winner’s platform with Harrison and present him with the Super Bowl.

It might just be enough to make a commissioner become a closet Packers’ fan.

Brite 5

Felix Jones is feeling a little light in the loafers lately.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Cowboys’ running back is taking off about 10 pounds that he put on prior to last season in an attempt to increase his durability.

He played 16 games. He also didn’t play nearly as well as when he played at a lighter weight.

After averaging 6.27 yards per carry in his first two seasons, Jones dropped to 4.32 as a third-year pro.

It wasn’t until he dropped the extra weight later in the season that his production also improved, averaging 5.85 yards per rushing attempt in the final three games.

Jones told ESPNDallas.com that he plans to get back in the 210-215 range for his fourth season. “I feel better right now,” he said. “I’m still learning ways of taking care of myself.”

Quick Hits

Who’s better, Tom Brady or Ben Roethlisberger? Careful how you answer that question. According to the Wall Street Journal the answer isn’t as simple as every Tom, Dick or Harry might think. “It probably depends on who you ask,” Roethlisberger says. But as the newspaper notes Brady may have built a reputation for what he’s done in the playoffs but the two are almost equal in playoff passing efficiency. Brady has a career rating of 85.7% to Roethlisberger’s 85.4%. And, if the Steelers win Sunday they’ll be tied with three Super Bowl rings each ... Packers’ Clay Matthews, runner-up for outstanding defensive player in the NFL, sent congratulations via Twitter to winner Troy Polamalu. “Congrats on NFL DPOY. Well deserved ... Class act and outstanding player.” Guess it takes one to know one ... Sounds like Raiders’ owner Al Davis intends to resign free agent Michael Bush and keep him teamed in the backfield with Darren McFadden. They “complement each other tremendously,” Davis told a press conference. “By the third and fourth quarter, they don’t want to tackle Bush in the secondary. They just don’t want him. He’s 250 pounds, power, speed.” ... The Titans interviewed offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger for their head coaching job but offensive line coach Mike Munchak is believed to be the No. 1 choice.


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