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Young Linebackers Using Lessons from Chad Greenway in Position Competition

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Two contenders to replace Chad Greenway are benefitting from direct and indirect exposure to the fourth-leading tackler in Vikings history (1,334 tackles).

Edmond Robinson is back for his third pro season. He has appeared in 21 games and made two starts as a rookie in 2015 after he was drafted from the 232nd overall spot. Robinson was the first NCAA Division II player selected that year and learned as a teammate of Greenway's the past two seasons.

"Chad has taught me a lot over these past two years — how to be a man, how to be a better father to my son and how to be a better player on and off the field," Robinson said. "I admire a lot of things he's done in the community. He has been a hardworking guy. For 11 years, he's been a real tough guy. I'm just taking that from him, coming in every day, being a leader, being that guy, being vocal and just doing my job."

Also selected 232nd overall, rookie Elijah Lee, a former Kansas State Wildcat, has frequently been watching film of Greenway.

"He did a lot of good things," Lee said. "I want to follow in his footsteps and try to be a better player. I don't know if that's going to happen, but you always want to be better than your role model or somebody you look up to."

Lee said he liked what Greenway did against passes and runs.

"I don't just want to be one-dimensional," Lee said. "I want to work on all aspects of my game, so however I can help, wherever they put me at, I'm going to do my best and put my best foot forward."

Robinson said he's enjoyed getting back to football for the Vikings offseason workout program.

Minnesota has one more Organized Team Activity practice this week and four scheduled next week before a mandatory minicamp that is scheduled for June 13-15.

The defense has become more comfortable for Robinson, who said he's also learned from veteran linebacker Emmanuel Lamur, another option the Vikings have to join Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks in Minnesota's base 4-3 defense. Lamur, who joined Minnesota last season as a free agent, did not participate in Wednesday's session that was open to members of the media.

"I learned a lot from the guys in front of me, from Chad, from Emmanuel, from guys who have been there and doing this a little longer than I have, but I'm real comfortable out there," Robinson said. "Everything seems pretty simple right now, just going out there allows me to play football. My first two years, I was probably thinking a little too much, but now, I'm real comfortable out there and just playing ball."

Lee has enjoyed the Kansas State connection with Lamur and cornerback Terence Newman.

"It's nice, because if I have a question, those guys have been in the league so long that they'll know what I'm supposed to be doing or explain to me what I don't understand," Lee said. "I'm just thankful for the opportunity because, going into an organization with nobody you know, it's kind of hard to make relationships at the beginning."

Lee also said that he's received "a lot" of help from Barr, a 2014 first-round selection, and Kendricks, a second-round pick in 2015.

"Those are two good guys and other players to look after," Lee said. "They get after it every day in practice and carry themselves with a high standard."

Minnesota has four other linebackers on the roster: 2016 fifth-round pick Kentrell Brothers, 2017 fourth-rounder Ben Gedeon, and undrafted rookies Shaan Washington and Eric Wilson.

Saturday will mark 100 days until the Vikings are scheduled to open the regular season at home against the Saints on Sept. 11. The players, however, vowed that they would not get too far ahead of themselves.

"I think we're taking it one day at a time," Robinson said. "I think coach is giving us all the opportunity to win that spot, so every day I go out there, I'm just trying to give it my all and show that I can be the guy for that job."

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