Poll Of The Week

POLL OF THE WEEK: Chad Greenway’s Return

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:

[quote_box_center]“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.”[/quote_box_center]

Greenway recognizes that his role will diminish next season, but I’d be surprised if he doesn’t take the field as the team’s starting weak side linebacker in Week 1. Right now, the Vikings’ options are limited behind Greenway — Gerald Hodges showed flashes of his ability late last year, and Audie Cole has always delivered in limited spot duty. Still, both players are relatively unproven commodities.

With Jasper Brinkley departing in free agency, Mike Zimmer may be forced to hand the reigns to Cole in 2015, who would benefit from the on-field presence of a player like Greenway. If Greenway does struggle early on, Hodges (or one of the Vikings’ 2015 draft picks) could take his place, giving Greenway the role of a pseudo-coach during games.

At 32 years-old, Greenway’s best days are behind him. Though he’s put up impressive career statistics, his play has declined enough to warrant a change at the position. The problem is, Mike Zimmer may not have the choice given his current options on the roster.

Fans, where do you think Chad Greenway will end up in 2015? Let us know in the poll below!



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Austin Belisle

Austin Belisle is the West Coast's biggest Vikings fan, a football diehard cheering on the purple and yellow from sunny California. After graduating from San Jose State University in 2014, he began working full-time in corporate marketing and blogging on various sports websites. Austin's passion for the Vikings led him to Vikings Territory, where he hopes to share his lifelong enthusiasm for the team with readers on a daily basis. You can follow him on Twitter @austincbelisle

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  1. Chad has been a solid contributor to the Vikings defense for years; it’s good to have him coming back.

  2. Man you guys here at VT are harsh on Greenway. He’s not that bad and still a starting caliber LB. Sure he’s not a Pro Bowl player anymore but suggesting a mid round rookie could replace him is a little far. Hodges or more likely Cole could replace him if they show enough but Chad should still be starting.
    I’m betting he starts all 19 games this year (Superbowl bound!)

  3. Honestly I think Greenway has a chance to become a MLB for the Vikings. He’s lost some speed on his step and can’t cover very well anymore, but he’s still a solid tackler. Put Hodges at Will, Barr at Sam and make Greenway a two down linebacker at Mike.

  4. They didn’t sign him for 3 million to sit on the bench. I remember the Buffalo play he got burned because he was trying to get the others in the right position and they quick snapped. I think we will see a lot more formations and substitutions. Chad can play all three spots and will play a lot even if he don’t start. I think Audie really steps up this year and plays the middle well.

  5. Looks like there will be a lot of competition at the MLB and WLB spots at camp already, and we may even draft an LB or two.

    Given that, I’d be surprised if Chad doesn’t have a significant role.

  6. Does Greenway have the skills and mindset to actually become a defensive coach in the future? I realize good players don’t always make good coaches, but curious about this one.