Everson Griffen said the Minnesota Vikings have spent a lot of time this offseason improving on the run defense. On Monday, he'll know how well it works.
Minnesota opens the 2015 NFL season against the San Francisco 49ers Monday night at Levi's Stadium, and against mobile quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The 6-foot-4-inch Kaepernick has torched defenses with his running abilities in the past. The Vikings are well aware of his dual-threat play-making ability, and have spent a lot of time in practice trying to find a way to contain it.
"We've got to rush as a group, not as an individual," Griffen said. "We've all got to put it in our mind that we've got to rush him as a group. We've got to contain him in the pocket and pressure him."
Kaepernick rushed for a career-high 639 yards and a touchdown in the 2014-15 season. He rushed for nine touchdowns in the previous two seasons.
Vikings cornerback Captain Munnerlyn saw his season come to an end against Kaepernick in the NFC Divisional Playoffs in 2014. On that day, Kaepernick rushed for only 15 yards on eight carries, but threw for 196 yards and a touchdown as the 49ers won 23-10.
"He's got a pretty good arm. People don't know, he can throw the ball a mile," Munnerlyn said. "So you've got to stay in coverage, you've got to keep on your guy and stay plastered to your receiver."
Kickoff is set for 9:20 p.m. CT on Monday night. The Vikings have opened two of the past three seasons with wins.