Pat Williams and Antoine Winfield are veteran defenders who earned their first Pro Bowl berths with the Vikings. According to Vikings assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, the Vikings defense features yet another veteran player who is performing at a level worthy of his first Pro Bowl honor.
That player is LB Chad Greenway, who has been perhaps the Vikings best defender so far in 2010. The 2006 first-round pick out of Iowa has gradually improved after recovering from a knee injury his rookie year and this season represents another big step forward for the athletic LB.
Greenway, who led the Vikings in takeaways in 2007 and in tackles in 2008 and 2009, has led or ranked 2nd in tackles every game this season. In total, Greenway has 65 tackles – 7 of which have been for a loss – and he’s also added a forced fumble.
“I think he is there,” Frazier responded on Thursday when asked if Greenway should receive Pro Bowl consideration. “I think he is a Pro Bowl linebacker. His ability to run with tight ends, to make the big plays that he’s making now; if he can continue to come up with some turnovers that will be the next step for him.”
Frazier makes a good point that splash plays – specifically turnovers – are key to a player generating Pro Bowl buzz. That shouldn’t be a problem for Greenway. He led all NFL LBs last season in takeaways with 6 and he’s already making splash plays in 2010. He forced a fumble in last week’s game at Green Bay and he also made the tackle on John Kuhn to stuff Green Bay on a crucial 4th-and-inches play during the second half.
Expect Greenway to continue his solid play and make a run at his first career Pro Bowl berth. He has a nose for the ball and is not outworked by anyone on the practice field or in the weight room.
“From a linebacker standpoint, he is doing everything you could ask of a linebacker,” Frazier said. “To me he is a Pro Bowl linebacker.”
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Tags: Chad Greenway, Leslie Frazier
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