It's been 3 years since Safety Michael Griffin was in the pro bowl and since then, Griffin has been nothing but a shell of his former self. He's lacked the aggressiveness and excitement we've been so used to seeing from him. Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray believes Griffin can still be that guy with a little consistency as do the Titans. But he will have to prove this true which has been been proven by the lack of a long-term contract for Griffin. Instead the Titans chose to place the franchise tag on the 27 year old safety, allowing him one more season to prove his worth. But can Griffin get back to his old self?After his career year in 2008 in which he posted 7 interceptions with 1 returned for a touchdown, he has since only had 7 interceptions over a 3 year span. Back during the 2010 season, Griffin believed that personal issues were the reason behind his lack of production, "It’s like having a bad day on the job. Some people go to work and may not be having a good day, may have other things going on..."
Griffin responded to this realization with a 1 interception and 7 passes defended, season. If he's fixed the issues then what could be holding him up? One factor could be lack of a dominant pass rush. It's no secret that a reliable defensive line could make the coverage teams job a heck of a lot easier and Griffin happened to have his best season at the same time the defense, featuring a certain large defensive tackle, were among the NFL's best at stopping the run. Last season, the Titans finished 24th in rushing defense. Not exactly elite. Perhaps with the addition of LB/DE Kamerion Wimbley and a healthy Derrick Morgan, the defensive line could make it easy on the coverage unit allowing Griffin to focus on pass coverage.
But even if the rushing defense is fixed, Griffin will still have to make plays. One example in particular comes to many Titan fans minds when thinking of Griffins 2011 failures. Locked in a tight battle against the win-less Colts, Griffin gives up a TD on a play where he simply did not make a play on the ball.To go along with poor defending, Griffin got barrel rolled all season by a few running backs which was unheard of a few years ago when he was known for pummeling offensive players with heavy hits. With a full offseason and a few acquisitions, the 2012 Titans defense is in good position with some strong veterans and up and coming youngsters, giving Griffin a prime opportunity to show the Titans and the league that he still can be a force. It's gonna be up to him to take advantage of this moment or else he may have a tough time catching on elsewhere. "..I know the way I can play and I have to get back to that 2008 form, the year I made the Pro Bowl."