Lewis Provides Leadership To Young WRs, Pushes Himself To Improve

Posted May 20, 2010

After the conclusion of the Vikings OTA #3 Thursday afternoon at Winter Park, 8-year veteran WR Greg Lewis walked off the field fatigued from running sprints with fellow WR Jaymar Johnson and QB Tarvaris Jackson.  Getting in extra work after practice is truly a testament to his role as a veteran leader to a young crop of WRs participating in the OTAs.

“I’ve been through the most and I’m just trying to give them what people have given me and told me to try and help them inprove,” Lewis spoke of the younger WRs participating in the OTAs.  “Because everybody wants to make the team but in reality everybody’s not.  I’m not one of those guys where I’m not going to try and help somebody else achieve their goal.  If they’re doing good then that’s pushing me to better as well, so it’s making everybody better.”

Lewis, who was picked up by the Vikings just before the season opener, quickly became a hero after catching the game-winning touchdown vs. San Francisco (9/27).  Lewis’ 32-yard leaping grab in the back of the end zone gave the Vikings a last second 27-24 victory.  It was his 1st reception as a Viking, making him just the 5th player in team history to catch a TD pass on his 1st reception as a Viking.  He finished with 8 catches for 96 yards on the season.

Even though Lewis provided late game heroics in Week 3 and was a regular contributor during the 2009 season, the 8-year veteran does not rely on a sense of comfort having contributed to a successful team in prior years.

“I don’t really have that comfort level where ever I am,” Lewis said.  “There’s always somebody trying to take your spot and you always got to work that much harder to improve yourself.  You can’t rest on what you’ve already done.”

Although Lewis knows that he cannot rest on what he’s already accomplished in previous seasons, he does have the advantage of working with familiar faces to help improve his game.  Lewis spent 3 seasons with Head Coach Brad Childress in Philadelphia when Childress was the Eagles Offensive Coordinator.  During those 3 seasons Lewis compiled 71 receptions for 839 yards and 1 TD.

“When I got to Philadelphia he was really the first coach to really talk to me for a long period of time and he liked what I was doing out there,” Lewis said of Childress.  “Ever since then we’ve had a pretty good relationship and, I mean, it’s pretty easy just to work with him and if you do what you’re supposed to do and be where you’re supposed to be, I mean it’s not that difficult so that’s all I try to do.”

In relation to Lewis’ familiarity with Childress, he has also found a friendly competition during practices with newly-acquired CB Lito Sheppard.  Lewis spent his entire career in Philadelphia – 2003-08 – with Sheppard on the other side of the football.

“It’s fun, to have somebody out there that you went against,” Lewis mentioned on having Sheppard as a teammate again.  “[Someone] that knows you and knows your moves and you know their moves.  You got to try to do something different to go against them and what not and that’s making us both better.”