Mount Vernon native Greenway's not done yet
For now, Chad Greenway is relishing the moment.
With a 10-5 record and a guaranteed spot in the NFL Playoffs, Greenway and the Minnesota Vikings are focused on winning a division title in their final game of the regular season Sunday night against rival Green Bay.
Yes, it's a successful season thus far for the 10th-year professional and Mount Vernon native who recently has fielded the questions about retirement and whether this will be his final year with the Vikings.
"Not ready to make my decision on that," Greenway said Monday afternoon, a day after the Vikings secured their first playoff berth since 2012. "All I'm going to say now is I'm focused on my job, and there's plenty of time after the season to figure out what I want to do."
Greenway, 32, has spent all 10 years of his NFL career in Minnesota. With the Vikings' 49-17 rout of the New York Giants on Sunday night, Greenway earned his fourth trip to the postseason since being drafted to the league 17th overall in 2006. Greenway has made the playoffs with the Vikings in 2008, 2009 and 2012.
The playoff berth means the Vikings are guaranteed at least two more games this season. Next weekend, Minnesota travels to Lambeau Field in Green Bay with the NFC North Division championship on the line. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Sunday and be televised nationally on NBC.
The winner will earn the higher seed heading into the playoffs, which will give the contest a "playoff atmosphere," Greenway said. After the Vikings and Packers clash, Minnesota will play during Wild Card Weekend, held Jan. 9-10.
"It's so much more fun playing meaningful games in December out in 5-degree weather," Greenway said, referring to Sunday night's win over New York. "This is why you do it. It's why you put all the work in."
A playoff spot for the Vikings wasn't secured until Sunday night. And the team had a shaky start to the season by splitting its first four games. Then, the Vikings won five straight to put them in good position entering the final seven weeks of the season.
While Greenway's top individual highlight this year was a 91-yard interception returned for a touchdown against San Diego on Sept. 27, he listed the unselfishness of the team as the most memorable part of the season thus far.
"We've had our fair share of egg performances," Greenway said, specifically naming losses to Green Bay, Seattle and San Francisco. "We've had some bad losses, but I think the best thing is by overcoming those and not letting them define your season. I'm proud of the team and how we've reacted."
Aside from his rookie season in which he suffered a season-ending injury in preseason, Greenway was readily available for his entire career prior to last season. He started 111 of 112 games from 2007 to 2013 and earned Pro Bowl honors in 2011 and 2012. Last season, though, he battled through injuries, missed four games and, statistically, had the least-productive season of his career.
In March, Greenway and the Vikings worked out a restructured contract to ensure he would play a 10th NFL season in the same location. He's played fewer downs this season, but achieved one of his preseason goals in helping some of the younger defensive players succeed on the field.
"I've been focused on how I can help this team win," Greenway said. "When I signed back, I wanted to do my part to help us get to the playoffs and help us be a better football team. I feel like I've done a good job in helping us do that."
Now, Greenway and the Vikings are contending for a Super Bowl.
"Playoffs are definitely ramped up," Greenway said. "Everybody moves a step faster. Everything is more important and every play is more watched. There's so much more pressure. ... It's what playoff football is all about."