With the Vikings' poor start to the 2011 season, there has been a lot of self-evaluation among the players. Linebacker Chad Greenway is among those looking internally as the Vikings try to stop the slide and get the season back on track.
The problems that plague the Vikings have forced the team to get back to improving at the most basic levels – an approach that have been borne out of the team's current struggles.
"I think the biggest thing is just trying to focus on practice – getting better and improving day by day," Greenway said. "If you can do that, then you've got to try to eventually get over that hump and turn close losses into wins."
The problem, as Greenway sees it, is to translate the progress being made on a daily basis at practice onto the field. He said the team was encouraged by having a chance to beat the Packers last Sunday, but said that moral victories have to start changing into actual wins on the field and that the team is moving in that direction.
"We're doing our best to correct the mistakes, but they keep showing up on game day," Greenway said. "It's more about how we're playing – 11 guys playing together."
Greenway said he sees a lot of similarities in the Vikings and the Panthers. While Carolina is 2-5, the team has energized its fan base with the exciting play of a rookie quarterback and the ability to challenge for a win in each of its seven games. While the progress being made has yet to translate into a winning streak, it is moving in the right direction – even if the improvements are being measured in baby steps.
"The biggest thing is that all the games they've lost they've been in," Greenway said. "They're in the same position or at least similar position that we've been in. They just have to get over the hump and win a couple of games."
Greenway said the reality of the Vikings 2011 season is that they have dug themselves a hole that is likely too deep to get out of to make a legitimate playoff run. With just one win through seven games, the Vikings are closer to being a team in position for a premium draft pick in April than a playoff spot. But he added that nobody is looking ahead to 2012. There is still half a season remaining to get the franchise on track. The Vikings believe they can salvage something positive from a season that, to date, has been noted by a lot more negative.
Greenway said that, despite their record, the Vikings are making headway moving forward and that the process isn't going to get sidetracked. The rest of the season starts Sunday against the Panthers and the Vikings will be trying to play some inspired football from here on through.
"You always have hope," Greenway said. "We're pushing it to the next week and trying to string some wins together. We absolutely have hope and we're going to keep fighting."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.
Greenway: ‘You always have hope'
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