Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Tags Posts tagged with "chad greenway"

chad greenway

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

The Minnesota Vikings were again at the center of trade speculation as pick number 45 approached Friday evening.

However, unable to strike a deal, the Vikings instead filled one of their most pressing needs with a player largely considered to be a first round talent.

UCLA linebacker Eric Kendricks is the newest member of the Mike Zimmer’s defense, joining cornerback Trae Waynes as part of a continuing effort to dominate the defensive side of the football. Kendricks projects as an instant starter within the Vikings defense presuming his knee is healthy.

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Here at Vikings Territory, we know better than most that it’s possible to find writing opportunities in all sorts of ways. Meet Tom Speicher. He got his start in 2003 when he entered a contest to be a Star Tribune web columnist for a year … and won.

Speicher was awarded the column for a season, after which he looked for new venues to write for and came across Vikings Update, which had been transformed into a monthly magazine.

“Eventually they hired me to write the ‘Where Are They Now?’ features on former [Vikings players],” Speicher explained. “It’s been a lot of fun! I have also had the opportunity to do assignments for the magazine at NFL Films and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

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Image courtesy of Youtube.com

Chad Greenway is back, but that doesn’t guarantee the Vikings’ veteran linebacker a starting spot once the regular season begins. For 9 years, he’s made a living as Minnesota’s weak side linebacker, leading the team both on the field and in the locker room.

But, recent injuries and the emergence of players like Gerald Hodges sapped Greenway’s time in the starting lineup — he played just 12 games in 2014, recording a career-low 93 tackles. When the 2015 NFL Draft kicks off on April 30th, expect Rick Spielman to add a player late in the draft, one who could eventually compete to replace Greenway.

As Ryan Boser wrote in his guest post for Vikings Territory, Spielman used all five of his 2014 Round 6 and Round 7 picks on defensive players. This year, he holds two picks in the final round — surely, Spielman will stick to his preferences and add depth to Mike Zimmer’s unit.

If Spielman holds true to his draft tendencies, he’ll use of one those picks on a player like Bowling Green’s Gabe Martin.

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Chad Greenway and the Minnesota Vikings will continue their 9-year relationship in 2015, as the former Iowa Hawkeye restructured his contract to remain with the team next season. Whether you support the move or regret the decision, Greenway will play some role on Mike Zimmer’s defense when September comes around.

Last year, Greenway battled through injuries, finishing a disappointing 12-game season with a career-low 93 tackles and 1 sack. He disappeared in the run game and consistently missed assignments in coverage (remember the Buffalo game, anyone?) Still, Greenway has been a staple in Minnesota, leading the team in tackles from 2008 to 2013 and missing just 4 games due to injury throughout his lengthy career.

In a Monday interview with our favorite team reporter (love you, Wobby), Greenway expressed his gratitude in returning to the Vikings:

“My number one goal is really being able to finish my career a Minnesota Viking and remain loyal to the place that’s been loyal to me […] It’s been an honor, and I definitely want to go out on top, being a Minnesota Viking and winning a lot of football games this year. We do have a young crew, a young linebacking crew with a lot of talent and need some direction, and I’m definitely happy to help with that.”

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Division I linebackers like UCLA’s Eric Kendricks and TCU’s Paul Dawson will dominate the early draft-day conversations, but teams shouldn’t sleep on the later rounds’ small-school prospects. One in particular, Newberry’s Edmond Robinson, could be a potential steal for the Minnesota Vikings near the end of the 2015 NFL Draft.

Newberry, a Division II school in South Carolina, hasn’t seen a player drafted since 1974, when the Cardinals selected linebacker Greg Hartle in the 10th round. Currently, three former Wolves are on an NFL roster, including the Vikings’ Brandon Bostick. Robinson played with Bostick at Newberry, and spoke about the advice he’s received from his former teammates:

“They’ve been great about giving me advice and telling me how to approach certain situations. They all said that if they can make it, I can too.”

Robinson was just one of two Division II players to participate in last month’s NFL Scouting Combine, and used the week in Indianapolis to boost his draft stock.

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