Skip to main content

Greenway embraces new role in new Vikings defense

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The Minnesota Vikings defense is starting at square one this year. The Vikings are learning an entirely new defensive system from first year head coach Mike Zimmer.

It has even some of the most experienced NFL and team veterans spending a lot of time studying the new schemes Zimmer is preparing the players for.

After seven years as the strong side linebacker, Chad Greenway has spent the majority of time prepping to move to the weak side. He also took a few snaps from Jasper Brinkley, in the middle, with the first team.

"This is a first chance for me to learn something completely new," Greenway said, while speaking to reporters after practice. "I go through the same growing pains as the younger guys as far as learning the new stuff, sometimes it's even harder for me because I have things so engrained over the years."

Greenway was selected to two Pro Bowls, while playing under the old system, but after a defensive collapse in 2013 a change was necessary.

"I probably haven't studied this much football in six or seven years, it's been a long time," Greenway said. "I am always carrying the iPad and notebook and trying to learn and ask as many questions as possible."

According to 1500 ESPN, the Vikings were at or near the bottom of nearly every statistical category. Greenway himself didn't play up to his standards and he dealt with a fractured wrist for much of the season.

Zimmer told reporters he thinks Greenway will fit in fine with the new system. He is looking for versatility from his linebackers.

"When you go into a game with six linebackers, if something happens you have to be ready to go," Zimmer told reporters. "For all of our guys, the more things you can do, the more valuable you are, especially on game day."

While the position will change, the responsibilities for Greenway will remain pretty similar in Zimmer's more aggressive defense.

That more aggressive style will hopefully create more turnovers.

Vikings safety Kurt Coleman said the defense will be predicated on the front seven controlling the line of scrimmage and establishing themselves, while those in the secondary will have to make some plays.

"We've got to create some turnovers, that's something we have to be able to do. With what I've seen from what coach Zimmer has done with defenses, this team is going to be an aggressive, hard style and we're going to create some turnovers."

In Zimmer's most recent stop as Cincinnati's defensive coordinator the Bengals climbed to No.3 in 2013 and intercepted 20 passes. Since 2011, they ranked No. 2 in the NFL with 139 sacks (46.3 per season) and ranked No. 4 by allowing just 18.8 points per game.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 8.20.23 AM

Chef Justin Sutherland suffers serious injuries in boat propeller accident

A fundraising campaign has been launched for the former Iron Chef contestant.

Screen Shot 2022-07-06 at 8.00.43 AM

After husband's suicide, mom killed their 3 kids and herself in Vadnais Lake

Police have identified the victims of the weekend tragedy.

Sky Sioux Falls Twin Cities

Sky turns green in Sioux Falls, orange in Twin Cities

A storm system brought a spectacular light show to the Upper Midwest.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren dominates in NBA Summer League debut

The No. 2 overall pick looked the part in the Thunder's win over the Jazz.

Reader-submitted video taken of people throwing fireworks at people and cars on July 4, 2022.

Frey: Police faced 'whack-a-mole' situation on chaotic Fourth of July

The mayor says law enforcement resources were being pulled all over the city as violent scenes unfolded.


Body recovered from Mississippi River near hydro plant in St. Paul

Authorities say the body appeared to have been in the river for months.

Braxton Sorenson

Charges: Lakeville driver didn't call 911 after fatally striking teen on bicycle

The 15-year-old boy was killed while riding his bike along a route he frequented.

Crystal Lake in Robbinsdale

Body found along shoreline of Crystal Lake

Police identified the body as a male Tuesday afternoon.


Little Falls man killed in ATV crash over holiday weekend

The 55-year-old apparently lost control and was partially ejected from the vehicle on Sunday.

Ellie Ragin

Police chief reveals new details in 'heartbreaking' search for Elle Ragin

Police reveal new details that led investigators to Stearns County.

Subway Series new menu

Subway overhauling menu, offering 1M free subs on July 12

The "Subway Series" menu change is set to take over beginning July 12.

Reader-submitted video taken of people throwing fireworks at people and cars on July 4, 2022.

Watch: Fireworks fired at people, buildings in downtown Minneapolis

Footage shared widely on social media shows chaotic scenes downtown on Fourth of July evening.