Vikings' Greenway tackling record after record
He's still wearing purple, but Chad Greenway's life has seen major changes in the past year. The Mount Vernon native and Minnesota Vikings linebacker is playing for a new head coach, the third since he entered the league in 2006. Greenway, 31, wa...
He's still wearing purple, but Chad Greenway's life has seen major changes in the past year.
The Mount Vernon native and Minnesota Vikings linebacker is playing for a new head coach, the third since he entered the league in 2006.
Greenway, 31, was forced to learn a new defensive scheme for the first time in his professional career after the Vikings hired longtime NFL defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as head coach.
There's been a transition away from the game for Greenway, too. He and his wife, Jennifer, had their third child, now 10-week-old Blakely.
"It's kind of been a revamping this year," Greenway told The Daily Republic earlier this week. "First, professionally, we have a new staff, but also with the family and having another baby. You kind of just have to roll with everything."
While change has been prevalent for Greenway, one thing has remained the same.
He's still a sure-tackling linebacker.
Prior to this year, Greenway has averaged about 128 tackles per season in the years he's started for Minnesota. Now, he's nearing a milestone any defensive player would be proud to accomplish.
According to NFL stats, Greenway is 26 tackles shy of 1,000 career. This weekend, as Minnesota (5-7) takes on the New York Jets (2-10), Greenway is unlikely to reach the feat. His career high for tackles in a game is 22, which came in a loss to Oakland in November 2011. That mark ranks second on the team's all-time list for tackles in a single game, behind only Scott Studwell's 24.
Although tackles didn't become an official NFL statistic until 2001, Studwell leads the team in many defensive categories. The bone-crunching Vikings linebacker from 1977 to 1990 has the team record for tackles in a career with 1,928. The team determined how many he recorded after his retirement by looking at old game film.
According to team records, which differ from NFL statistics, Greenway has 1,181 tackles in his career, putting him 747 away from Studwell's record. Greenway also trails former linebackers Matt Blair (1,404) and Jeff Siemon (1,375).
Studwell has been a part of the Vikings' organization in different capacities for more than 38 years. Greenway said he sees Studwell almost on a daily basis.
"His numbers are just insane," Greenway said. "He's a phenomenal guy and a true Minnesota Viking through and through."
Greenway was impressed with the way Studwell was able to stay healthy through his 14-year career. And, generally, Greenway has followed suit.
Greenway had a major knee injury, tearing his ACL, that forced him to miss his entire rookie season. Then he played 115 consecutive games from his second year through the third week of this season. In the second week of this year, against the New England Patriots, he injured his ribs and wrist. He attempted to play in the third week, took himself out of the game and then sat out weeks four, five and six.
Since he returned, Greenway and the Vikings have split their last six games. They aren't officially out of the playoff run, but it's a long shot.
Now there are four weeks remaining in the regular season, and Greenway said he feels "as good as you can feel at this point in the season," despite racking up another season of hit after hit.
He's second on the team in tackles with 75, behind only safety Robert Blanton, who has 84. Last year was the sixth straight year Greenway led the team in tackles, tying Studwell's franchise record. If Greenway surpasses Blanton in the remaining four games, he'll hold the record for most seasons of leading the team in tackles.
And with another season nearly in the books and another of delivering several punishing blows, Greenway knows he's getting to be on the latter half of his career.
"I'm signed through next year," Greenway said when asked about his contract. "A lot of times in the NFL, you touch 30, and contracts change and things happen. Nothing is in cement and there's no guaranteed money in my year next year. I know the Vikings could possibly move on, but I'm doing everything I can do to help the organization win.
"They know my thoughts on wanting to retire a Viking and play for one organization in my career. I think they want the same thing. We're hoping we can find a way to get that done and maybe something will happen this offseason."
Greenway, who's in his ninth year in the NFL, said he has "a couple years left" and has a goal to play 10 years total professionally.
"After that, if I feel I'm able to play at a high level and the body is still feeling good, we'll play it by ear," he said. "It would be a discussion I would have to have with my family."