Greenway Draws Coordinator's Confidence

Chad Greenway is making his comeback from a torn ACL last August, but his performance in offseason activities has been impressive for the team's new defensive coordinator.

Linebacker Chad Greenway has not missed a workout during the Vikings' Organized Team Activities and minicamp and appears to be completely recovered from the left torn anterior cruciate he suffered in the first exhibition game last season.

"I've been extremely impressed," Vikings defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said of Greenway's progress. "I wasn't here last year when he got injured, but I see no effects. It's just been amazing, the way that he runs around and twists and turns and jumps.

"He's done everything that we've asked him to do. He hasn't had any complaints about soreness or any weakness, so it's exciting to see where he is now and I can imagine where he'll be when we get to training camp."

The plan is for Greenway to be playing the weak-side linebacker position when camp opens. E.J. Henderson has moved from the weak side to the middle to replace Napoleon Harris, who signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Assuming Greenway can stay healthy — and there is no reason to believe he won't — the Vikings' first-round pick from 2006 stands to have a big season. The weak-side spot in the Tampa 2 system is a prime position and it's that much better on the Vikings because Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams make things extremely difficult on opposing offensive linemen. That means the weak-side guy is often free to roam.

Henderson, for instance, put together the best season of his four-year career in 2006, finishing with a team-leading 109 tackles and receiving a five-year contract extension worth more than $25 million late in the season.

"It's just about learning your position and learning the ins-and-outs and when you can maybe jump a route," Greenway said. "Just kind of learn that process.

"Those first couple games I'm going to be out there flying around trying to make plays. As the season goes on, I'll be able to become a smarter player by listening to what E.J. says, what the coaches say. Just kind of learn from my own experiences."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm probably going to take my time and probably do my own thing. I came in, got these three days in, learned what I needed to learn. I know what I need to do on my own to get better. So I'll just work on those things." — Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield speaking at the conclusion of the three-day mandatory minicamp. Winfield attended that camp but made it clear he wouldn't be at OTAs.

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