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Q&A with Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway at Legends on Friday

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway talked with ESPN 99.1′s Sam Tastad before Friday afternoon’s Sanford Legends event at Kirkeby-Over Stadium at Augustana. 

Greenway is entering his ninth year with the Vikings. Last year, he had 134 combined tackles, three sacks, three interceptions, and four pass defenses for Minnesota. Here’s his conversation with Tastad:

ST: How’s your offseason been? 

CG: “It’s been good. The offseason has been going great. We’re almost through and have just a minicamp left next week and then will be done.”

ST: Are you fully healthy? 

CG: “Yeah, as healthy as you can be, and the body feels great.”

ST: What are your expectations with new head coach Mike Zimmer? 

CG: I have a lot of new expectations, obviously. A lot of new things coming in. I think it’s going to be a lot of exciting new pieces, personnel-wise, coaching staff, and a new look offense and defense. I think both of those will be exciting things for our fans. Of course, we are playing outdoors. So, a lot of changes in our organization and hopefully, all for the better.”

ST: What will the transition be like moving from the Metrodome to TCF Bank Stadium for two seasons while the Vikings new stadium gets built? 

CG: “It’s going to be fun. I think our fans are going to buy into it and it’s going to be loud, and they will pack the stadium. It will be a nice home field advantage when it gets cold when Southern teams have to come up and play us. So, I think we are looking forward to the opportunity playing outdoors. It’s a lot of good weather games that we used to play inside and now we will play nice weather games outside in September through hopefully now all the way to December.”

ST: The Vikings have some new pieces on defense with Linval Joseph and Captain Munnerlyn. What are the expectations on defense? 

CG: “I expect us to be better. Obviously, we have added some new pieces to the puzzle, and drafted a couple of guys that can help us, but I think the biggest thing they did is a good job of bringing in pieces that fit the style of play that they wanted to play defense. Hopefully, we will be better.”

ST: What’s it like being one of the older guys in the locker room at this stage in your career? 

CG: “Yeah, I mean it’s just the transition you make. Obviously, any guy that comes into the NFL would love to have their ninth season, which I am about to go see. It’s a labor of love. Everyday you get to put something into it, and it’s been fun to mature through the process. Going from the young guy to the middle guy, and now to the older guy, try to teach these young guys a few things about the right way to be a pro and lead by example. At same time, take a leadership role. It’s fun, and been a great ride so far. I just want to finish it right.”

ST: What type of leadership role have you taken now as a veteran? 

CG: “Defensively, I think I am definitely probably the longest tenured guy here. So, I mean I have to be a vocal leader and step up. Lead by example, and do all things right. The coaching will look to you to show the young guys how to do it. You have to be on your game everyday.”

ST: Thoughts on new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville: 

CG: “Ted’s a great kid. I mean, I haven’t got to know him that well, and been around him that much, but he makes some great throws and has a lot of talent. He is a good kid, works hard, has a lot of talent, and it’s kind of what you expect out of a rookie.”

ST: What do you love about giving back to kids at Legends? 

CG: “Well, every year, there’s so many good kids playing. Going back to when I was a kid, having an opportunity like this would be pretty special and having a couple of NFL guys and Hall of Famer Terrell Davis is pretty amazing. A guy that grew up in South Dakota (Mt. Vernon), to give these kids an example of what it’s like to get to the professional level from here and what they can become of if they want to do it.”

ST: What’s it like to come back to SD and be a part of this event? 

CG: “It’s fun. I prefer to go home and all the way to the farm, but it’s a nice stop over here and get a chance to spend some time in Sioux Falls. It’s always nice.”

ST: What should the kids take away from this event? 

CG: “Well, I think the biggest thing is just this opportunity to come here and it’s short time. So, take this opportunity, cease it, have fun, and you know, it’s a kids game, and we should all have fun playing it and this is a way you learn how to do that.”

ST: What advice would Greenway give to kids that have goals to be professional football players, or athletes in general? 

CG: “You know, (laughs) that’s always a hard question I get asked. I mean, the reality is it takes a lot of things to become a professional athlete. It takes a lot of luck. It takes a lot of skill. It takes a lot of work. You have to be willing to do all those things and give up a lot things in your life to realize a dream. So, it takes a lot, but you can take a lot out of it if you can make it.”

ST: What advice would Greenway give to football players in general? 

CG: “Work hard everyday and compete. Competing against yourself more than anybody and do it for the right reasons. Do it for yourself.”

ST: Greenway reflects being a ‘hero,’ as he helped two boaters come to shore on Lake Minnetonka last week: 

“Basically, it was just a couple of boaters that had their steering column go out on them, and they were floating toward the spillway. They were up against the rocks, and basically walked around the side of the dam and pulled the boat down about 100 feet or so down the shore line. Then, the water patrol came, and came to hook and tow them away. He then caught in rocks and pushed him away as well. So, just in the right place at the right time, and am happy I could help.”

*For comments and story ideas, email Sam at tastadsam@gmail.com, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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