Notebook: High praise for Greenway

New defensive coordinator Alan Williams didn't get a long look at Chad Greenway this offseason, but he had high praise for the linebacker's coverage skills. Plus, Adrian Peterson's attorney said race wasn't a factor in his arrest, and a safety has Paul Krause's record in mind.

Much has been made – rightfully so – of the changes on the Minnesota Vikings defense. There is a new coordinator, as Alan Williams comes from the Indianapolis Colts to assume that position and last year's coordinator, Fred Pagac, returns to coaching linebackers.

One of the key areas for improvement needs to come defending the pass. The Vikings ranked 26th in the NFL last year against the pass, and they responded by drafting safety Harrison Smith at the end of the first round, and making their next pick, in the third round, cornerback Josh Robinson. They continued by drafting a cornerback, Robert Blanton, whom they want to turn into a safety.

Free agency also brought the arrival of cornerback Chris Carr, who is expected to play a key role, and Zack Bowman, an experienced cornerback in the team's Tampa-2 base scheme.

It isn't just the back four or five players of the defense that contributed to the low ranking in the pass defense, but Williams said he is impressed with the coverage skills of Chad Greenway.

"He's instinctive, he gets around the ball, he's an unbelievable pass defender," Williams said. "Don't take that the wrong way and think he doesn't play the run well, because he does. I think the pass is what he does exceptionally well, as good as anybody in the NFL.

"Again, I said he's instinctive, he finds his way to the ball. If I call something that's ‘the wrong defense,' he can make it right so he can make a coordinator look good and the guys follow him and the guys gravitate towards him."

Greenway missed most of the Vikings' organized team activities because his father was battling cancer, but the linebacker attended all of the team's mandatory minicamp sessions.

Greenway indicated that many of the defensive problems the Vikings had last year came down to mental errors.

"We just had so many fundamental errors in what we do within our scheme. Little things here or there, guys getting out of their gap, guys playing something different, miscommunication," he said. "There are more issues than just that, but you start with that and you work into the bigger issues – guys just trying to force it and make big plays and make something happen."

RACE NOT A FACTOR

Rusty Hardin, the attorney for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, said race was not a factor in the resisting arrest charge being levied against Peterson.

After Peterson's arrest early Saturday morning, a story on Yahoo! indicated that the Houston Police Department had a reputation of profiling African-Americans. However, Hardin said that was not a factor at all in Peterson's incident at a Houston nightclub.

"Nobody is going to be talking race in this case. All of the officers were Hispanic or black," Hardin told KFAN radio earlier this week.

Peterson is scheduled for his arraignment hearing today in Houston. Hardin said in separate radio interviews that he has anywhere from four to six independent witnesses that will testify Peterson didn't shove an off-duty officer, as the Houston PD contends.

Hardin is hoping to have the case dismissed but was willing to go to trial if prosecutors don't drop the charges.

"He's anxious to get his truth out," Hardin told KFAN. "I am totally convinced if this had happened to JQ Citizen, after it was investigated it would be dismissed."

CHASING KRAUSE'S RECORD?

Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is entering the final year of a six-year, $40 million contract and would like an extension. He skipped all of the Ravens' offseason practices to emphasize that point.

If he continues playing past the 2012 season, he has the all-time interceptions record on his mind, he said, according to Scout.com's Aaron Wilson. Reed has 57 career interceptions, 11th on the NFL's all-time list. Former Vikings safety Paul Krause holds the record with 81.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.



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\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Much has been made – rightfully so – of the changes on the Minnesota Vikings defense. There is a new coordinator, as Alan Williams comes from the Indianapolis Colts to assume that position and last year's coordinator, Fred Pagac, returns to coaching linebackers. One of the key areas for improvement needs to come defending the pass. The Vikings ranked 26th in the NFL last year against the pass, and they responded by drafting safety Harrison Smith at the end of the first round, and making their next pick, in the third round, cornerback Josh Robinson. They continued by drafting a cornerback, Robert Blanton, whom they want to turn into a safety. Free agency also brought the arrival of cornerback Chris Carr, who is expected to play a key role, and Zack Bowman, an experienced cornerback in the team's Tampa-2 base scheme. It isn't just the back four or five players of the defense that contributed to the low ranking in the pass defense, but Williams said he is impressed with the coverage skills of Chad Greenway. \"He's instinctive, he gets around the ball, he's an unbelievable pass defender,\" Williams said. \"Don't take that the wrong way and think he doesn't play the run well, because he does. I think the pass is what he does exceptionally well, as good as anybody in the NFL. \"Again, I said he's instinctive, he finds his way to the ball. If I call something that's ‘the wrong defense,' he can make it right so he can make a coordinator look good and the guys follow him and the guys gravitate towards him.\" Greenway missed most of the Vikings' organized team activities because his father was battling cancer, but the linebacker attended all of the team's mandatory minicamp sessions. Greenway indicated that many of the defensive problems the Vikings had last year came down to mental errors. \"We just had so many fundamental errors in what we do within our scheme. Little things here or there, guys getting out of their gap, guys playing something different, miscommunication,\" he said. \"There are more issues than just that, but you start with that and you work into the bigger issues – guys just trying to force it and make big plays and make something happen.\" Rusty Hardin, the attorney for Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, said race was not a factor in the resisting arrest charge being levied against Peterson. After Peterson's arrest early Saturday morning, a story on Yahoo! indicated that the Houston Police Department had a reputation of profiling African-Americans. However, Hardin said that was not a factor at all in Peterson's incident at a Houston nightclub. \"Nobody is going to be talking race in this case. All of the officers were Hispanic or black,\" Hardin told KFAN radio earlier this week. Peterson is scheduled for his arraignment hearing today in Houston. Hardin said in separate radio interviews that he has anywhere from four to six independent witnesses that will testify Peterson didn't shove an off-duty officer, as the Houston PD contends. Hardin is hoping to have the case dismissed but was willing to go to trial if prosecutors don't drop the charges. \"He's anxious to get his truth out,\" Hardin told KFAN. \"I am totally convinced if this had happened to JQ Citizen, after it was investigated it would be dismissed.\" Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is entering the final year of a six-year, $40 million contract and would like an extension. He skipped all of the Ravens' offseason practices to emphasize that point. If he continues playing past the 2012 season, he has the all-time interceptions record on his mind, he said, according to Scout.com's Aaron Wilson. Reed has 57 career interceptions, 11th on the NFL's all-time list. Former Vikings safety Paul Krause holds the record with 81. 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