Chad Greenway has always been what coaches call a "film rat." He enjoys studying game tapes not only of his own team, but of future opponents and teams that aren't even on the current-year schedule. It's been part of his preparation since his college days. But now he has someone to watch film with him, even though his DVD compatriot doesn't have the same appreciation for the game.
Greenway's film partner is his daughter Maddyn, born Aug. 22nd of this year. While some young players are hitting the party circuit in the cities where they play football, Greenway has settled into life as a homebody and spends most of his evenings taking his turn on Maddyn Watch.
"A lot of credit goes to my wife (Jennifer)," Greenway said. "She has her hands full during the day. When I get home, I take over as much as possible when I'm watching film and doing other stuff. It's been a great experience so far."
With the pressures of a career in the NFL, where attention to detail is vital, Greenway said having a newborn around isn't as big a distraction. As the youngest member of Team Greenway, she's done her part and known her role – getting her proud papa to rate her performance as an infant favorably."
"She's done a great job," Greenway said with the proud smile only a father can give. "She's been sleeping through the night since the second week. We just got lucky, I guess, because that's not always the case."
While Greenway spends most of his evenings watching film cradling his daughter, he's had his hands full at work with a schedule that has included some of the more dangerous tight ends in the NFL. Through just four games, the Vikings have faced Alge Crumpler of the Falcons, the two-headed receiving tandem of Bubba Franks and Donald Lee for the Packers and perennial All-Pro Tony Gonzalez for the Chiefs.
He and Ben Leber will have their work cut out for them Sunday when they face the Bears and their TE tandem of rookie Greg Olsen and veteran Desmond Clark. Following a conference call with Darren Sharper to the local Chicago media, it has sparked a mini-war of words because the Sharper quotes were slanted in a way of disrespecting the Bears tight ends. Nobody on the Vikings defense is taking either player lightly. They combined to catch seven passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns to spark a 20-3 second-half run by the Bears that potentially saved their season – a loss would have dropped them to 1-4, improved the Packers to 5-0 with a head-to-head win in hand.
Both know how dangerous both Olsen and Clark can be and they'll be ready for them.
"Olsen didn't play much earlier in the season because he was coming off an injury," Greenway said. "But when you saw him Sunday night, you can see why he was a first-round pick. He can create some mismatches and we're going to have to be on him whenever he takes off down the middle. We've faced some really good tight ends in pass coverage this year and this week will be no exception."
With the extent to which Brian Griese used his tight ends last week – Olsen and Clark were the two top receivers – it is likely that the trend will continue Sunday and Greenway is confident that they won't be a factor in the final outcome.
"A lot of teams throw almost exclusively to their wide receivers, but not the Bears," Greenway said. "They use everybody – tight ends, running backs, fullbacks. They had success with going to their tight ends last week, so we're expecting they're going to try to get them going again. It's going to be our job to take them away from (Griese). If we do, we're going to have a great chance to win the game."
Win or lose, you can bet where you'll find Greenway following the game – with Maddyn in one arm and a remote in the other forwarding and rewinding game video. He wouldn't have it any other way.
Greenway's Favorite: Maddyn 2007
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