Home NFL The place are your former Browns now? LB Anthony Griggs

The place are your former Browns now? LB Anthony Griggs

The place are your former Browns now? LB Anthony Griggs


Former Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Anthony Griggs has had his share of bizarre and strange circumstances main as much as turning into an NFL athlete.

Throughout his senior 12 months of highschool, there was a instructor’s strike and his soccer season was canceled prematurely. Below scholarship at Villanova College, his senior 12 months was utterly scrubbed when the varsity dropped soccer altogether. And as he was making an attempt to win a job throughout his rookie season within the NFL, the gamers went on strike.

Speak about trials and tribulations.

But, Griggs did discover some success alongside this twisted path. He went to the identical highschool as his spouse Bethann however by no means dated her. Later in life when he was traded to the Browns he reconnected along with her and now the couple have been married for 25 years. That’s one completely happy ending.

Chances are you’ll say that Griggs’ complete life has been in the suitable place. And with all these soccer trials and tribulations, an answer was discovered with every. Though every was very odd to occur to 1 humble man, he discovered perseverance and endurance, and that issues occur the best way they’re purported to and never essentially the way you deliberate all of it out. Or even when it was deliberate in any respect. Issues simply – occur.

Griggs performed within the NFL for seven years. He was drafted by the Eagles within the fourth spherical of the 1982 draft. Philly had some first rate guys on protection on the time, however the franchise was principally a bottom-feeder staff. In 1986, he was traded to Cleveland who had a stellar protection coached by a defensive guru named Marty Schottenheimer. With the Browns, Griggs discovered a couple of profitable tradition and that going to the playoffs wasn’t a objective, it was an annual trek. And an expectation. Whereas with Philly, these kinds of issues weren’t a part of their tradition, however in Cleveland, you discovered that protection was king and that the playoffs had been a automobile you rode annually.

Cleveland Browns v Atlanta Falcons

Clay Matthews #57
Picture by Gin Ellis/Getty Pictures

The Browns not solely needed Griggs however made a commerce for him. And shortly sufficient he had received one of many beginning linebacker positions on a bunch that was stacked with expertise resembling Chip Banks, Tom Cousineau, Eddie Johnson, Clay Matthews, and former USFL star Mike Johnson.

Due to Griggs, the franchise ended up making an attempt to commerce Cousineau, a former All-American at Ohio State. On the time, Schottenheimer launched the gifted linebacker and said:

“I’ve little question Tom will play within the NFL and doubtless begin. ‘We simply had too many high quality gamers on the place.’’

Schottenheimer by no means had a shedding season whereas being the pinnacle coach of the Browns. Schotts liked a number of issues whereas with Cleveland: the working sport, protection, and his gamers.

Popping out of his shortened highschool season in soccer, Griggs had curiosity from Rutgers, Villanova, Penn State, Duke, and Kentucky. He selected Villanova.

In one in all his off-seasons whereas with the Eagles, he discovered he had one 12 months of monitor eligibility left and threw the javelin for Villanova whereas he completed his diploma. He completed third within the convention finals.

After his enjoying profession, he grew to become the Energy and Conditioning coach for the Atlanta Falcons earlier than touchdown a job because the Director of Participant Improvement and Energy Coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers for the following 13 years.

Whereas employed with the Steelers, Griggs was answerable for administering the NFL’s Participant packages, which included organizing continued schooling, profession growth, monetary/enterprise administration seminars, and household help packages. By way of a complete and thorough weight coaching and conditioning program, Griggs not solely helped gamers get stronger bodily however mentally and emotionally as properly.

For an older man now 63 years outdated, he’s in actually nice form. He goes to the Cleveland Clinic and will get an in depth three-day analysis on him to seek out out about his mind, again, muscle mass, neurological, and psychological situation. Griggs nonetheless lives in Pittsburgh and has 4 kids: Loren, Lexi, Aaryn, and Alex. He’s the President of AG Squared Networks and the proprietor/founding father of AG360, which assists companies, people, groups, and organizations with optimum progress and growth. Griggs can be a motivational speaker, writer, Licensed Psychological Efficiency coach, and a Christian.

Griggs earned a Bachelor’s diploma in Communications from Villanova and later earned his grasp’s diploma in Organizational Management from Geneva Faculty. He enjoys martial arts, working with children, studying and has within the works a collection of eBooks arising on Kindle. Rising up he liked fellow New Jersey native Franco Harris of the Steelers and as he targeted on being a linebacker, Jack Lambert grew to become his man to comply with.

Dawgs By Nature caught up with the previous Browns linebacker to learn the way Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil had a troublesome time attending to Griggs, what precisely is “burst soccer”, and why he informed Nick Saban concerning his scholarship supply “I’ll let you realize.”

DBN: At John F. Kennedy Excessive Faculty, you solely performed 5 video games in your senior 12 months due to a strike. What was the strike about?

Griggs: It wasn’t a participant’s strike like within the NFL, however a instructor’s strike. We had already had soccer camp and it was early within the season and had been informed there was a strike. I didn’t know something a couple of strike. Then it was miss a sport. Then miss one other sport. Earlier than lengthy it was a cancellation of the season. They introduced that. That was a ache within the abdomen for me. I didn’t actually have a plan however had some faculties fascinated with me. I wasn’t a man who needed to take visits, so I simply saved going to high school.

John F. Kennedy Excessive Faculty

DBN: Did you play some other sports activities whereas in highschool?

Griggs: A variety of guys I knew performed basketball however that wasn’t for me. I participated in monitor. I did the excessive bounce, shot put, and javelin. I attempted the hurdles however stop that concept fairly fast. I got here inside a half inch of the varsity report in each the shot put and excessive bounce. I had the most effective report within the javelin within the state at the moment.


DBN: Ainsworth Sports activities made a listing of the All-Time finest soccer gamers from the State of New Jersey and ranked you. We’re speaking about guys like Franco Harris, Drew Pearson, Joe Theismann, Rosey Grier, Floyd Little, Jack Tatum, Victor Cruz, and Greg Olsen. That’s fairly a database. Your ideas?

Griggs: I really feel very lucky to be on that record. I felt I used to be only a man who had a possibility to do one thing. There are some very huge names on that record. Tatum was ferocious. They noticed a man who put the work in and was coachable. I’m only a man who simply gave it a shot. New Jersey has had a number of guys in all sports activities make it huge. I’m shocked and honored on the similar time.

DBN: You performed faculty soccer at Villanova after which transferred to Ohio State. Why did Villanova do away with the soccer program going into your senior 12 months?

Griggs: One other monetary deal. We had simply completed spring ball and one of many gamers got here to my room at evening and stated they had been eliminating soccer. I stated yeah, certain as a result of I didn’t consider him. My place coach informed me to come back to the sector home within the morning and the President of the college stated they had been eliminating soccer. Different gamers had been saying they couldn’t consider they removed it, and I used to be like, I’ve been concerned in a strike – it occurs. Hold transferring. However the college was keen to allow us to end out our levels if we stayed. On the announcement, one in all my coaches informed me there was a man from Ohio State who needed to speak about me going there. I informed him, going there? I used to be going right here. I had one 12 months left. That coach was Nick Saban who was on the employees of Ohio State. He stated that they want to have me out and play out my final 12 months of eligibility. I believed, “You could have a staff already. You don’t want Anthony Griggs.” I informed him I might take into account and thanks for popping out. My teammates are like Ohio State, it’s a must to take that. I informed them I used to be good the place I used to be at. I didn’t know if I needed to be a brand new pupil once more. After every week, I accepted.

DBN: You confirmed up for Ohio State’s Professional Day, however had been informed the occasion was just for their All-American gamers. One other coach requested you to run in any case because you confirmed up, and you probably did run. Did these scouts in attendance discover you?

Griggs: All of the seniors had vehicles besides me. After I ran, a number of the scouts came to visit and truly requested who I used to be and if I had movie on me. One among them was from the Eagles. I ran the 40 and did some linebacker drills. Then they requested me to do another checks. One of many scouts informed me in the event that they needed to get in contact with me they wanted my agent’s title and get in touch with information. I stated, agent? What? I didn’t have an agent. I informed them to simply attain the varsity and gave them my dorm room and that phone quantity. We didn’t have cell telephones then. If you left you simply stated bye.

DBN: There may be an amusing story of you being drafted within the fourth spherical. Please share.

Griggs: My roommate wasn’t a soccer participant, he was an entomologist. He had posters of bugs on his aspect of the room. I used to be out to class, and once I obtained again my roommate stated that some man named Dremmel known as and stated he was going to name you again about drafting you. One thing about Eagles. I stated, what? I’m from the Philadelphia space so the Eagles are in my yard. He known as again, and stated, “That is Dick Vermeil, how do you are feeling about being drafted within the fourth spherical? Simply stick round your cellphone. We’re going to draft you in a couple of minutes. How do you are feeling about that?” I stated, what? I believed it was a prank. I didn’t assume it was like – actual. So Vermeil stated he would name again in a couple of minutes and let me know the way it went. He known as again and stated, “Congratulations Anthony you’re a Philadelphia Eagle. I’ll have my secretary name you to get you in right here.” So, now I’m simply enjoying alongside. I stated, “That’s nice. Unbelievable.” So a girl named Sally calls later and tells me that they will get me together with the opposite draft decisions in tomorrow, and what flight time can they get for me? I informed her my final class was at 2:00. I’m nonetheless not getting this for what it truly is. She gave me a affirmation quantity for a 5:00 flight. Now I’m like, wait, what, huh? I requested if she was severe, and he or she stated sure. They wanted me to catch that flight to get me in. I known as my mother and informed her I used to be coming residence tomorrow. She thought I used to be in hassle. I informed her I feel I obtained drafted by the Eagles. She stated, what?

St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelpnia Eagles

Picture by Give attention to Sport/Getty Pictures

DBN: What was your first NFL coaching camp like?

Griggs: It wasn’t on campus anymore, that is the actual deal. George Hill was my place coach and he had come from Ohio State so we had one thing mutual. However that was all we had. He labored me up good. And it’s a number of info that offer you. They know you’re going to get it, however if you are messing up and never getting it, the coaches are going to earn their paycheck. You be taught fairly quick that if you happen to don’t get what they’re teaching you, you aren’t going to be round. Conferences had been three hours, after which later we had one other assembly. My title was “hey linebacker.” Hey Linebacker do that. Hey Linebacker the assembly is at six. I used to be a grinder and knew the right way to work exhausting, so I used to be decided to point out them how I can work. I used to be at all times working and within the weight room.

DBN: Your rookie season simply so occurred to start with a 57-day participant strike. In case you had been a veteran that’s one factor, however being a rookie who’s making an attempt desperately to make an impression and make the ultimate roster, how troublesome was that for you?

Griggs: One other strike. I didn’t perceive what the strike was, or why. I simply know our participant rep stated the gamers had been happening strike making an attempt to get this and that. In the course of the strike I obtained a job being a substitute instructor at my outdated highschool. I did that the complete strike. A few of my college students had been within the eighth grade once I graduated in order that was unusual. I wasn’t a lot older than them and now right here I’m instructing their class. Some requested why I wasn’t enjoying for the Eagles anymore and needed to inform them in regards to the strike.


DBN: As a rookie, you performed totally on particular groups. Is that extra considered as a proving floor that you just deserve a roster spot?

Griggs: We had lots of people in camp. Attending to play on particular groups was an opportunity to actually present your self. We took satisfaction in it and so did the Eagles. We had Frank Gantz as our particular groups coach. His background was as an aviator check pilot. So, we had been in like Particular Forces to him. He had coordinated all people’s half. And if you happen to did one thing fallacious, you simply tousled the mission. He didn’t settle. And it wasn’t simply rookies and second-year guys. There have been some veterans on these groups. He needed tenacity. We had been coming in to converge. We had been already giving up our our bodies, however he needed our souls.

St. Louis Cardinals v Philadelpnia Eagles

Picture by Give attention to Sport/Getty Pictures

DBN: Your second season you began at exterior linebacker. In your very first sport because the starter you intercepted Joe Montana. Did you retain that ball, and is it true you gave Montana a concussion?

Griggs: There was much more understanding of what was anticipated starting my second 12 months. I don’t bear in mind holding that ball. However on the time, I didn’t consider it as catching a go from Joe Montana. I had stopped a drive.

Any individual had informed me that I gave Montana a concussion. Apparently, he tried to make the sort out and my knee hit him within the head.

DBN: You had been the Eagles 1985 “Man of the Yr” on your off-field group involvement. How did you discover out about this prestigious award, and who was the primary individual you informed?

Griggs: The Eagles PR man had come to me in the future and stated they had been going to appoint me for the award. I actually didn’t know an excessive amount of about it. It was on the finish of the 12 months. I’m from Philadelphia, so yeh, I did lots. I knew what wanted to be accomplished as a result of I used to be from there. I might do issues spur of the second. I obtained the award throughout a sport. I nonetheless have it. It’s a wood laser carved out image of my face. I informed my mother first. My mother and pa took nice satisfaction in tailgating and heavy into Bar-B-Q.

DBN: After 4 seasons in Philly, how did you find yourself with the Browns?

Griggs: I’ve tales – most of them contain a strike. I used to be about to enter my fifth season in 1986, and on draft day I used to be talking at a faculty. Afterwards, I used to be consuming at a sandwich store that had a TV. I used to be consuming, and the fellows on the TV had been discussing the recap of the draft. And one in all them stated, “What do you concentrate on that commerce of Anthony Griggs to Cleveland?” Anthony Griggs to what? They stated Cleveland was needing linebackers and traded me for a draft decide. That they had Tom Cousineau who had been an All-American linebacker at Ohio State. I used to be a fan of his.

Cleveland Browns vs New York Jets, 1987 AFC Divisional Playoffs

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DBN: You got here to the Browns within the 1986 season which went 12-4-0. What was the Browns like and Marty Schottenheimer as a coach?

Griggs: I meet Cousineau. He was all enterprise and I’m all enterprise and we simply go at it in practices. We didn’t have any adversary, however we had been battling. He was a exercise man like me and I revered that. I liked Marty. I got here from the Eagles and we had by no means been to the playoffs the complete time I used to be there. And now the Browns, they go yearly. I’m loving this. And if we win only one extra sport we get a bye within the playoffs? What? After which if we win two video games we’re within the Tremendous Bowl. Huh? So it was evening and day within the sense that I used to be used to enjoying within the NFL. One sport we had beat the Steelers of their stadium, and we had been getting residence at like two within the morning. The airport was filled with followers. Packed and carrying indicators. It was unbelievable.

Cleveland Browns vs Denver Broncos, 1987 AFC Championship

LB Chip Banks high-fives LB Anthony Griggs (proper)
Set Quantity: X34239 TK2 R7 F8

DBN: You beat out Cousineau and began alongside Clay Matthews, Eddie Johnson, and Chip Banks. That was a monster linebacker corps. What’s the benefit of a protection enjoying the 3-4 versus the 4-3?

Griggs: When you may have linebackers like that it’s a must to get them on the sector. That’s precisely what the 3-4 did. That put extra athletes who can rush the passer and canopy backs and cease the run. Eddie Johnson was a smasher. And me seeing that, I needed to elevate my sport up and meet their normal. We had this mentality that we had been going to win. It was a good time with being with the Browns. And the offense had weapons.

DBN: These 1986 and 1987 Browns groups had been actually good however misplaced within the AFC Championship Recreation each years to the Denver Broncos. Do you continue to hate John Elway?

Griggs: I knew that was coming. Man, simply extra seconds on the clock, and rather less in one other sport, and this dialog is totally different. This man is a unique man. I don’t him and once I see him I’m considering he’s unbelievable. Folks I do know will give me their very own little state of affairs about Elway in these video games. I simply know profitable and shedding in sports activities is a part of it. One was exhausting shedding, a second one which was simply as shut is much more troublesome.

DBN: Whereas enjoying for the Browns, the place had been a number of the locations you’ll eat or seize a brew after practices or video games?

Griggs: I like Italian meals so I might often discover a place like that. I additionally appreciated Scorching Sauce Williams, a Bar-B-Q place. I ate at Bob Evans as soon as every week for his or her biscuits and gravy. Once I first obtained to Cleveland I lived within the Pink Roof Inn for the primary month. Then I rented an residence in Lakeview earlier than transferring to Bay Village which had been condos.

DBN: Schottenheimer had stepped down as the pinnacle coach of the Browns and now was the pinnacle coach with the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. How did you find yourself in KC?

Griggs: My final 12 months in Cleveland they introduced in one other linebacker Mike Junkin who was taken excessive within the first spherical. The staff had traded Chip Banks to San Diego. They gave Junkin each likelihood to begin however he obtained damage. The Browns had launched me and introduced me again with Mike was damage. However later they launched me once more and Marty had left. He known as me to come back and play for him in Kansas Metropolis. He had introduced over Invoice Cowher to run the identical protection that they had in Cleveland. Invoice and I had been linebackers whereas with Philadelphia. I knew when Marty left Cleveland that he could be employed elsewhere fairly shortly and that the success he had inbuilt Cleveland he would construct in Kansas Metropolis. Marty was about the actual need to play, and what motivated you to carry out. He didn’t train that this job is simply one other ho-hum place. No. That is all you may have proper now, that is what he was asking from you as a participant. Once I obtained to KC, it was identical to I used to be again in Cleveland. I already knew a lot of the coaches. I used to be enjoying exterior linebacker in coaching camp and wore #58 which was quantity for me. Their Number one draft decide wasn’t in camp but however signed earlier than the primary sport. They launched me and gave Derrick Thomas my #58 jersey. He lived as much as it.

NFL: USA TODAY Sports-Archive

Anthony Griggs (53)
RVR Photographs-USA TODAY Sports activities

DBN: You performed at outdated Cleveland Municipal Stadium which was constructed for the Cleveland Indians. Inform me one thing I wouldn’t learn about Muni.

Griggs: Within the residence staff locker room there have been two tiers. One upstairs and one downstairs. Downstairs there’s carpeting and everybody has their very own locker. They ship the rookies and particular teamers upstairs. There’s a piece of tape on the wall with my title on it with a nail caught within the wall. It was so antiquated like a visit again in time. You needed to go downstairs to take a bathe after which hope you had sizzling water. Then we might play at different stadiums and the customer’s locker rooms had been plush. Muni was additionally a baseball stadium, so the stroll from the locker room was longer to get to the soccer discipline than if it was baseball season. We’d come out of the Indians residence dugout. However the crowd gave you a nostalgia feeling and as a participant you really liked it. You couldn’t actually acknowledge anybody sitting within the stands particularly behind the place residence plate could be due to the gap. I knew the place my mother was sitting however I couldn’t lock in to the place precisely she was. And the fanaticalness of the Dawg Pound. That was loopy. They had been proper up on the gamers in the back of that finish zone. It was unbelievable.

DBN: After you hung up your cleats and a brief stint with Atlanta, you landed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as their Participant Improvement Director. What had been your job duties?

Griggs: It was a brand new program known as Participant Improvement. It was serving to gamers with life expertise, serving to them end their levels or getting them entered into internships that they might be fascinated with. Additionally private facet like getting round city and doing monetary seminars. We had an expert who taught finance. Second 12 months I received Participant Improvement Director of the league. I used to be the one after the draft that introduced all of the newly-drafted gamers to this rookie symposium. I used to be the man who needed to join with the gamers. I used to be aware of a number of the stuff that might be stated on the Mix and gave notes after they interviewed gamers.

DBN: You fashioned an organization known as AG360 Coaching. What’s the focus of this firm?

Griggs: It’s a approach for an athlete to get a sport plan for his or her athletic profession. Bodily coaching, emotional coaching, to assist them develop into a high-performing athlete. It’s important to know some issues so as to prepare for sure issues not whereas the video games are taking place, however previous to that. Visualization, goal-setting, overcoming nervousness, relieving stress – all issues that occur earlier than the sport. However it’s a must to apply it. Then after the sport, issues which can be requested of you and what folks say. Life expertise, however not simply of athletes like time administration, stress administration, and expertise to assist somebody develop into a greater individual or pupil. With AG360 I’ve been working with children that assist give them instruments. I’ve had response with this.


DBN: Everybody is aware of that the athletic portion is crucial. How equally vital is the psychological facet?

Griggs: It could be extra so vital. Your frame of mind is all the pieces – desirous to be taught, overcoming obstacles, and of gaining success. It’s important to keep grounded whenever you achieve success and keep humble. You’ll be able to’t management sure issues and have to know how the mind works, what the triggers are. If you do get depressed or get down, what do you do? What would you like? What do you need? And the way do you go about getting it?

DBN: Your organization affords bodily teaching, psychological teaching, emotional teaching, plus a life expertise program. Is that this actually an athletic sport plan for any athlete?

Griggs: I feel sports activities present children at a younger age one thing that they like. They might like computer systems, cooking, taking issues aside, enjoying a musical instrument, or one thing like stitching. Now we put them right into a sport that enables them to be part of it with out their mother and father. They then be taught to be on time and the right way to apply. And as they go alongside, they get higher at it and are taught the right way to overcome issues in life. You learn to cope with different folks and different conditions, adversary, failure, and the right way to lose. When have you learnt whenever you win? How does that correlate to in the event that they work at a spot or go into enterprise? You be taught to outline all this.

DBN: You could have an incredible thought for a brand new wrinkle within the NFL known as “burst soccer.” Clarify this.

Griggs: It’s simply an thought to be a element of the NFL. It permits every staff to have one “burst” participant. That’s someone who has performed the sport and are age 50 or older. They usually have one final burst in them. That participant will get a burst exemption on the roster. However every staff has to make use of that participant for one play within the sport. Each sport whether or not that’s on offense, protection or particular groups. This participant doesn’t even go to practices. And after his one play, the burst participant can hit the showers, get modified, and go. Earlier than every sport he indicators a waiver that he has a will, a delegated subsequent of kin, and signed off on all medical conditions. Groups would use him when his experience might help them and he will be performed as a 12th man on the sector. Possibly the burst participant would put on Quantity 00 or possibly put on a giant pink cross on his jersey.

DBN: Aside from cash, how has the NFL modified because you performed?

Griggs: The gamers have gotten greater and sooner. They transfer weight faster, which suggests simply on physics there’s a number of pressure that’s being generated on the market. Have a look at a number of the rule adjustments which have occurred. The quarterback guidelines are prolonged now. You’ll be able to’t land on a quarterback. You’ll be able to’t knock him down, it’s a must to carry him down now with none malicious intent. Or hit his head whether or not intentional or not. Alongside the offensive line you may’t excessive/low folks anymore. No extra 10-yard begin on the kickoff. Tackling may be very totally different. We had been taught the right way to spear with the helmet. And no helmet-to-helmet since you had been making an attempt to take heads off. There was no best sort out – you simply tried to degree the man. The medical facet of it has modified as a result of we didn’t talk about the neck compression or head blows. Participant’s info on accidents has modified now. And details about their physique has modified like what they put into it and what they should do to maintain stuff out of it. And at the moment, a participant will be his personal model.

DBN: What’s your fondest second of being a Cleveland Brown?

Griggs: Once I bear in mind gamers of once we performed. The enjoyment we had within the locker room. The entire exhausting work you set into it, however we did it as a staff. We had been making an attempt to win video games and busting ourselves making an attempt to get these wins. All of us wore the identical uniform and all of us represented Cleveland. I skilled a number of good issues whereas in Cleveland even when Artwork Modell was there. One time we had the President of the USA at one in all our practices with Ronald Reagan. He spoke which was a “wow” second. I met lots of people who had been die, die-hard Browns’ followers. And it wasn’t as a result of we received all the pieces, it was as a result of they had been born and raised right here and that staff was part of them.



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