Chad Greenway Thinks the Best is Yet to Come for the Vikings if the Team Stays Together

January 8, 2013 – 9:45 am by Chris Fedor

This season the Minnesota Vikings enjoyed a tremendous turnaround that culminated in a playoff appearance. The most impressive part of their season came at the close. Minnesota ripped off four straight wins to finish the year, including wins against Chicago, Houston and Green Bay the final week of the season, just to get into the postseason. Despite the loss this past weekend in Lambeau Field, there is reason for optimism moving forward. The Vikings defense improved, Adrian Peterson was unstoppable and quarterback Christian Ponder made some positive strides.

Chad Greenway joined KFAN in Minneapolis with Paul Allen and Paul Bercich to talk about the season ending, how much the loss against Green Bay hurts, on handling the expectations that will be increased next year, what the last year has been like for him personally and what the Vikings need to do on defense to improve their team.

On the season ending:

“Obviously when you work your way into a situation like we did in December you almost feel like it’s going to come to you. You’re going to go to Green Bay and you’re going to keep rolling because it just feels like that is the way it is meant to be. You put so much work in, time and effort and throw your body around everywhere trying to make it happen and then when it ends up not going your way you’re pissed off, mad, sad and you wish you had another week to play. We’re so thankful for our fans. Unbelievable season by them and the way they showed up against Green Bay at home was ridiculous and how many purple people did we have in Lambeau? It was awesome so we owe a lot to them.”
On how much the loss against Green Bay hurts in the playoffs:
“We believed that’s the thing, we believed. Compared to our ’08-’09 season when we went to the playoffs deep in ’09, this team was better in a lot of ways. We were a tighter group, we had more fun and we did it the right way all the way through. It’s an NFL season and it’s rarely going to go how it’s planned all the time and that way that we finished in December, that four game stretch was probably the most fun four game stretch that I’ve had ever in my career other than that nine game run we made my senior year of high school. This was a special group. The exciting part is we are disappointed because we believed that we still belonged in this group no matter what hand we were dealt. We thought we should’ve won in Lambeau and gone on. I think we would’ve gone on to Atlanta and we felt good about that one too. We would’ve went on and on and this team to me was not supposed to lose and it’s unfortunate but that’s how much belief we had in each other, how we were playing, the scheme and everything. It’s very encouraging. I think we’re going to have an unbelievable team next year that is going to have to be dealt with every week and that’s the only way you can look at it. I think we’re going to be one to battle with each week.”
On handling the expectations of next season:

“This is the reason that we can feel really good about our head coach. That’s what he is. This is why he is here because he is a guy that no matter win lose or draw he is going to be the same guy no matter what happens. This is a tough thing for most people to realize is that when you have some success even when you are not supposed to it’s like ‘okay a little success and now we want more success.’ That’s what you want from your organization, your team, your coaches and I think from a fans perspective feel good about who we have running the ship with Leslie Frazier, (GM) Rick (Spielman) and feel good about the leaders including myself. We want it more next year and I think we want it for the right reasons. We’re willing to work for it like we showed this year and I think it’s going to start April 22nd. I know when the offseason is going to start, we will be here, we will be preparing, we will be pushing each other and now we have a great group of rookies that aren’t rookies anymore and will take a huge step in their second season. We’re going to get more young talent and we’re going to hopefully keep a lot of our veterans around that have paved the way this year.”

How difficult the last year has been on him personally with his dad fighting for his life:
“It’s been an unbelievable nine months and our family has been blessed in so many ways. From where we were early June to where we are now there is no doubt in my mind it is a complete miracle, there’s no doubt about it. My dad looks as good as he has looked in the last 10 years. He has been getting better and better when nobody gave him a chance from what he had with the infection he had. It’s an amazing thing. He made it to the Green Bay game here at the end of the year, he made it to Lambeau for the playoff game. There are so many things wrong with this world but my dad is one of the things that is so right with this world. To have him around this extra year when we didn’t think we would have him around is a blessing. He’s a man that every one can learn from and I get a good example every day.”
What he thinks the defense needs to add to get even better:

“That’s a tough question because we feel good about who we have on this team. Unfortunately that’s part of the business but we have to get better in third downs. To me that means it’s rushing the passer and I’m not saying this in a way that deems what we did isn’t right, the way Everson (Griffen) played down the stretch, Jared (Allen) played down the stretch, B Rob (Brian Robison) injured played down the stretch, unbelievable and Kevin Williams is always good so we don’t have a problem there, those guys are the guys we need to have. I’m not sure what the contract situation is with all of those guys but we need to have those guys back and just need to keep getting better. In the back end it’s like how do you take something that was so much better than what we’ve had the last five years and say that we need to fix it? Jamarcus Sanford is a free agent, a guy that you have to have on your team. He went from playing in his mind playing average football to playing some ridiculously good football, causing fumbles, turnover and big hits. What’s wrong with it? Nothing. I think if you have to bring somebody in new bring somebody in that we just had. Just bring the guys back because it’s the people that make this thing go and we have the right people, we know that. Bring it back and give us another chance. The pieces are here, there’s no doubt about it.”

Listen to Chad Greenway on KFAN in Minneapolis here (Audio begins 25:55 into the podcast)

Tags: , , , ,

Post a Comment