Griffin: 'You're losing money regardless'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Michael Griffin will be back on the field for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday in Denver, patrolling center field as the free safety.

The question after he served a one-game suspension for what the NFL viewed as an accumulation of hits against defenseless receivers is whether he will play the same way.

Griffin's hardly a headhunter. He's been somewhat unlucky.

But by the letter of the law he accumulated four hits that earned fines. After the one on Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera on Nov. 24, the league suspended him a game and took the corresponding salary, more than $205,000.

"You're still damned if you do, damned if you don't," Griffin said of hitting people as they make catches. "As your job, you've got to prevent guys from catching the ball and you've got to make a play on the ball. If it's not intercepted, you dislodge the ball.

"You tell us to lower our strike zone, we lower our strike zone. Now not only do I have to lower my strike zone, but I have to adjust my strike zone based on what the receiver gives me. So if he's catch the ball and falling I have to adjust to what he gives me. They say lover the strike zone, but the strike zone is only what the receiver gives you. It's a mobile strike zone.

"You can run 40 yards in 4 seconds, you mean to tell me as I am about to make a hit within 2, 3, 4 yards how far can you adjust based on what the strike zone is doing?"

These are the sort of conversations defensive backs are having around the league. They may understand the league's concern with the effects of big hits. But they largely do not understand how they can factor in everything they are supposed to into a very quick, high-speed decision.

"I'm going to do what I'm going to do, I'm going to still play the way I've been playing," Griffin said. "And that's my job. At the end of the day, the question is this: either the league is going to take money out of my pocket or the team is going to release you if you can't get the job done. They're going to find somebody else to come in here that can get the job done.

"You're losing money regardless, however you want to look at it. You tell me. However I need to get the job done, I'm going to get the job done. You can't think about it. The league ain't going to give me money. They're not going to pay me to do the job correctly. I've just got to play."