Jonas Griffith on taking reps with the starters during training camp 

Practicing with the starters is allowing Griffith to learn from his veteran teammates, whom he credits for making him feel more in sync with the defensive scheme.

“Every day I feel like I’m gaining more confidence, and I feel like every single rep I get, I’m getting more comfortable with the defense,” Griffith said. “Guys like Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, those guys are really just helping me and bringing me along. I feel like we’re just getting more comfortable playing with each other.”

Griffith’s comfort in his role is apparent during practice, where he is often seen laughing and joking around with his teammates between reps. The defensive players have a strong bond with each other, and it translates to their cohesion and success on the field.

“I’m trying to play free and just have fun,” Griffith said. “I try to keep it light, but I know the task at hand at the end of the day.”

His fun, humorous demeanor came out when discussing the new Guardian Caps mandated by the NFL. The padded helmet layer, which reduces the severity of impact, must be used by all defensive and offensive linemen, linebackers and tight ends through the second preseason game.

Like many players, Griffith had some thoughts on the new gear.

“I kind of feel like a bobblehead,” Griffith said. “It gives me negative five speed on Madden, that’s what I tell some of the guys. But it’s not that heavy, honestly. … I feel like it’s going to help me, protect me against any concussions or anything like that. I feel like once we get pads on, I’ll be more prone to just fly in without worrying about getting injured.”

After the journey Griffith has endured to get to this point, he is grateful that his coaches and teammates believe in his ability to potentially be a starter for this team.

“It means the world, honestly,” Griffith said. “As a guy in my position, this is all you can ask for. I feel like this is amazing.”

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