ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Two years ago, Jonas Griffith was an undrafted free agent Bouncing between practice squads and fighting to earn a spot on an NFL roster. Now, he is a core member of the Broncos’ starting defense. The inside linebacker has not had the easiest journey, but he is making the most of his opportunity and gaining confidence every day. We sat down with Griffith to talk about his path to becoming a starter in the NFL, communication on the defense, playing the piano and more.
Ellie Kinney: You’ve had a lot of uncertainties over the last two years. How different did it feel going into this season after getting reps with the first-team offense during training camp?
Jonas Griffith: “It feels good. It feels really good. I think the more reps I get, the more confident I become. Going through OTAs and training camp with the ones really just helped me continue to perfect my craft, so I was able to take my game to the next level.”
EK: When you were playing on practice squads in 2020, did you always believe you would get to where you are now?
JG: “[COVID-19] kind of put a little doubt in my head my Rookie year, but once I got the opportunity, I just think that it was inevitable that it would come. With hard work and preparation, I think anything’s attainable. I just felt like [this chance] would always come.”
EK: What advice would you give to players trying to make a team and earn their opportunity?
JG: “I would just say, stay consistent no matter what, no matter the outcome. Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. If you have a bad day or a bad week, don’t dwell on it. Just look forward to the next day and don’t let it happen again.”
EK: You’ve established yourself as an important part of the Broncos’ defense this season. What are some of the strengths that you bring to this group?
JG: “Just my ability to fly around and make plays all over, even if it’s not my play to make. I try to run it down and make a play. Also, helping guys like Josey [Jewell] communicate on defense and just being that echo for him.”