The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

July 27, 2013

Greenway is lone fixture amid changing LB group

Eighth-year player is fixture amid changing group

MANKATO — If there is one thing Chad Greenway has learned during his seven years in the NFL it's that change is inevitable.

For Greenway himself, things have been fairly constant. Ever since he was inserted into the staring lineup in 2007, he has been a mainstay at the strong-side linebacker position.

And he has gradually improved. Last year, for the first time, he was selected to the Pro Bowl. Head coach Leslie Frazier believes the honor has given him more confidence and has enabled him to become a team leader.

But while Greenway has been a fixture, the same can not be said for the other members of the linebacking corps. This season, in fact, most of the remaining linebackers consist of either new faces or guys playing different positions.

"That's the nature of the league," said Greenway, who led the team with 148 tackles in 2012. "Things change; people come, people go. You just adjust and try to become the best unit you can."

The most significant change among the linebackers is the switch of Erin Henderson from the outside to the middle. Last year's Jasper Brinkley experiment didn't work out very well, so the coaching staff went to work converting Henderson almost as soon as the season was over.

"You always want to have your best 11 guys on the field," Frazier said. "We believe this will allow us to do that."

Greenway agrees: "Erin has had the whole offseason to work on it and he's coming along fine. It's a big adjustment but Erin has been around the league and he knows what's required. The more he works at it the better he'll become."

Another significant move by the Vikings was the decision to sign former Green Bay linebacker Desmond Bishop as a free agent. It's a gamble, considering Bishop missed all of last season with a torn hamstring, but it was one the coaching staff was willing to take.

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