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Chad Greenway's 10th Season Including Multiple Roles

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The roles that Chad Greenway has been cast this season have continued to evolve**, but the 10-year pro has delivered for the defense.

Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press on Wednesday caught up with Greenway, who started at middle linebacker when Eric Kendricks was out and also filled in when Anthony Barr suffered an injury against Seattle that sidelined him last week. Greenway led the Vikings (8-5) with 11 tackles (coaches' tally) against the Cardinals (11-2).

"My goal has remained to remain consistent and the type of player that I want to be and continue to try to improve as my career went on," Greenway said. "At a certain point, the cart on the hill starts going the other direction, so you've got to hold on as much as you can. I've just tried to do my job and be as solid as I can.

"In the past couple of years, I haven't tackled as well, so I try to improve those things. A lot of that is due to health, and your wrists. Nothing's broken, which is nice."

Greenway didn't miss a game in 2013 despite a broken wrist. Early last year, a broken rib and broken hand led to his consecutive games streak of 115 coming to an end. He missed three straight games with those injuries, and later sat out the season finale with a bad knee.

Lately, though, Greenway has been the one filling in for injured players. After coming out on nickel situations early in the season, he has seen significant action in four of the past six games.

The dependability and experience of Greenway has helped a position group that started two rookies at Arizona and has continued with his commitments to the community.

Greenway was voted by teammates as the Vikings Community Man of the Year for a second-straight season and third time overall. He is in the running for the prestigious Walter Payton NFL Community Man of the Year Award, which is accompanied this year by a Charity Challenge presented by Nationwide. If #GreenwayWPMOYChallenge is used the most of all 32 nominees between now and Dec. 31, 2015, Greenway will receive a $20,000 donation for charitable causes.

Rookie-palooza

The Vikings set a franchise record at Arizona by starting six rookies largely because of injuries: Kendricks and Edmond Robinson at linebacker, Anthony Harris at safety, and Trae Waynes on defense, along with Stefon Diggs at receiver and T.J. Clemmings at right tackle.

Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune honed in on contributions by the 2015 Vikings draft class, that's also included "defensive end Danielle Hunter, who came off the bench to record a sack, and tight end MyCole Pruitt, who caught two passes for [36] yards" at Arizona.

"We're getting a lot from those guys," coach Mike Zimmer said. "I don't really look at them as rookies. I look at them as football players. … But I think we've done a good job of expediting the process of them understanding what we're trying to get done and [trying not] to overload them, too. That's another big thing."

*For the second consecutive year, the Vikings are getting major contributions from their rookie class. In 2014, it was draft picks Anthony Barr, Teddy Bridgewater and Jerick McKinnon who made an impact right away. Now, late in the 2015 season, the Vikings are relying on a bunch of rookies to help get them into the playoffs. *

"We're hungry. We're ready to play. And we accept challenges," Kendricks said.

No to yo-yo

Zimmer's coaching philosophy was significantly impacted by Bill Parcels, and he's been known to bring up a wit or wisdom from the Hall of Famer.

Tim Yotter of Viking Update *noted Zimmer's admiration for teams* **that maintain focus and an even-keeled demeanor.

"You kind of see them based on who they are and the teams that are winning. You see how they bounce back from losses. You see how they focus on the job at hand and preparation and things like that," Zimmer said. "(Bill) Parcells always said he didn't want to have a yo-yo football team – up one week and down the next. He wanted the same guys all the time."

*Zimmer believes he has that with his generally young team this year, but with three games remaining and coming off back-to-back losses, "it's time to get back on track." *

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