NOTEBOOK: Griffen stresses the importance of keeping Rodgers in the pocket

Defensive end Everson Griffen has spent nearly the entirety of his career in the NFC North, which means he knows the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers better than most.

Rodgers isn't the most fleet-footed quarterback in the NFL, but he is one of the most productive and dangerous passers in the league when he gets out of the pocket. Rodgers is looking to throw when he breaks the pocket, and usually it results in big plays for the Packers' offense.

Griffen said Thursday its vital to keep Rodgers in the pocket as best Detroit's defense can Sunday. He said the Lions edge rushers have to be very disciplined this week with their rushes.

"He's a pocket passer and he's also even excellent when he escapes the pocket," Griffen said. "The way their tackles set, they set to make you feel like you want to come inside because they know Aaron can escape outside."

The key Sunday, according to Griffen, is being able to push the pocket and disrupt timing, and most importantly not let Rodgers consistently get out of the pocket, where he and his receivers are some of the best in the business at making big plays down the field in those scramble drills.


Defensive end Trey Flowers is Detroit's nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

One of the league's most prestigious honors, the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

"Walter Payton was a great person, what he stood for," Flowers said. "A legacy lives on forever. It's about the things that you do with the time that you have on this Earth. I just hope that a long time from now, people can remember the impact that I had on their lives and the impact that I had on the community.

"I hope that my foundation (Flowers of the Future Foundation) can continue to do great things in the community. I just want to inspire, I want to encourage because I know how important it is. This world, in order to get better we have to inculcate the things that we've experienced and the knowledge that we have on to the youth, which leads them to be even better."


Running back Adrian Peterson is climbing a lot of the NFL career rushing lists. He's currently fifth in career rushing yards (14,717), and with five carries Sunday would pass LaDainian Tomlinson for the for the sixth most rushes in league history.

But interestingly, Peterson doesn't follow his ascension up some pretty prestigious rushing lists.

During his 2012 MVP season, Peterson said he really had Eric Dickerson's season rushing record of 2,105 yards on his mind during a Week 16 trip to Houston. He was 293 yards short of the record at the time, and thought having a big game of 150-plus yards would set him up the next week against Green Bay to get the record.

"That was the first time I ever did that," Peterson said Thursday reflecting back on that situation. "Went into a game like, 'OK, make sure I focus on getting 150 or 175 yards or what not.'"

View photos of the cleats that Detroit Lions players and coaches will wear for this year's My Cause My Cleats campaign.

Houston limited Peterson to 86 yards on 25 carries (3.4 average). Peterson said watching the film afterward he thought he was pressing and trying to do too much. He said from that point on he never worried about individual goals.

Peterson rushed for 199 yards the following week vs. Green Bay and missed Dickerson's record by seven yards.


Wide receiver Kenny Golladay, cornerback Jeff Okudah and tackle Tyrell Crosby sat out practice again Thursday after missing Wednesday as well. It's not a great sign for their ability to be ready to play Sunday vs. Green Bay.

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