MISSOULA – Jordan Tripp’s professional career has had many more twists and turns than high school and college careers. Now, the former Montana Grizzly hopes he’s found a place to put down roots.
Tripp played most of his football in one place. After graduating from Missoula Big Sky, he chose to stay in his hometown and suit up for the Grizzlies.
But since moving up to the NFL, the linebacker has grown accustomed to moving. In his first three seasons, Tripp spent one year with Miami, the next year in Jacksonville, and then split time between Seattle and Green Bay during the 2016 season.
He takes an optimistic view, choosing to look forward to the next challenge, instead of looking back at what happened.
“You can complain about it and put your head in the dirt and pout,” said Tripp, “or you can embrace the opportunity and take what you’ve learned at each place, and know that I’m going to learn that here, take it there, and continue to push forward. Because it’s not always going to go the way you want. I’m happiest where I am in Green Bay. It’s a great fit for me.”
Tripp played outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense at Montana and for most of his time in the NFL. But moving to the inside in veteran Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ 3-4 system feels right.
“He wants guys that are smart, run to the ball, make plays, and know his defense,” said Tripp. “He’s a blue-collar guy. He wants people that are just going to do their job. I really embrace that.”
Those same requirements remind Tripp of playing at Montana for former Griz head coach Bobby Hauck.
“All that taught us was to work for our keep, do things right, show up early, just little things that are important — being consistent, being polite,” said the 6-foot-3, 234-pound linebacker.
And now the Missoula native hopes he has found a new hometown.
“I want a long-term deal there. I want to be in Green Bay,” said Tripp. “I love what they have going there. It’s blue-collar, it’s a consistent hard-working town, and the football team reflects it.”
The NFL has a month off until late July. Tripp has used the time to help coach at several kids camps and clinics. He remembers when he looked up to Griz football stars, and loves the chance to play the opposite role.