Chad Greenway is coming off his first pro bowl season. He recorded a team high 154 tackles in 2011, but the 6th year linebacker feels there's still a lot of room for improvement.
"For me, there's a lot of things to get better at," Greenway said. "In some ways I thought I took steps backwards last year in some aspects of my game. That's just being real. You can't always play your best football, it's just not possible. At the same time if you understand it, know it, and watch it on tape, you can try and get better from that."
The same goes for the Minnesota Vikings defense. With the exception of the lineman, last season the unit struggled to stop opposing offenses late in games.
"It's going to be huge for us to have success in the back end and that's with linebackers included," Greenway said. "we have to get better at situational pass defense. So for us, it's being more consistent in finishing halves and finishing ball games. If we can do that we're going to give ourselves a chance."
This off season hasn't been easy for the Mount Vernon native. He's had to focus on his father Allen, who had been battling cancer but is now in stable condition.
"My family is doing well," Greenway said. "My dad has been doing well and is in stable condition. So we're very thankful for that, all the prayers from family and friends really throughout the state of South Dakota that we've talked to. We're grateful for that."
Greenway knows first hand that whether you're a fan in the stands or a football player on the gridiron life hits hard, but it doesn't mean you can take a snap off.
"Everyone's got personal stuff going on in their lives, whether you play football or work in a factory. Sometimes those things are so personal that you want to go to work and do your job better because of that because you want to be more of a focus you want to be a better guy."
The purple and gold's defense will need that drive from Greenway in what expects to be a tough season.