View Full Version : Great interview by Greenway (Worth the read)

05-01-2006, 05:54 AM
Greenway: I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank Coach Childress, to thank the whole Vikings organization and the Wilfs for bringing me here to the Twin Cities. I'm very excited about this opportunity. The only thing I can really say about my game is that I'm going to come here and give my best effort every play, and I'll be a consummate good face for the Vikings and always put my best foot forward. I'm looking forward to the opportunity and I'm excited.

Q: Do you feel like an overachiever being from a small town in South Dakota?
A: Not really, I take the stance that everyone has the same opportunities. It doesn't matter where you come from; you just have to get there in different ways. I played 9-man football in high school and kind of took a different route than everybody else did. Iowa stuck their leg out and offered me a scholarship and it was my only one. I tried to make the best of it and go down there and work as hard as I could and try to build myself into a player and fulfill my potential. I wasn't a very good linebacker when I first got there but I took the coaching and learned from the people that played in front of me. I could be an overachiever in some people's eyes, but I don't think that way.

Q: Any significance to the number 52?
A: Not really; when I went to Iowa, they gave me 18 because that was the only number that was really available. That's kind of how they recruited me. I made the best of it, and the first number that came to mind was 52, and I asked if it was available and they said it was so we decided to go with it. Abdul (Hodge) was 52 in college; he's a guy I played with and a good friend of mine, so I don't know if he's going to be too happy about that, but we'll see what happens.

Q: Has this been kind of a whirlwind 24 hours for you?
A: Yeah, it's been a whirlwind 24 hours. To wake up yesterday in South Dakota with my family, obviously it was an exciting day watching the minutes tick by every pick and just kind of hoping I did slip here because it was a place that I really wanted to go. Obviously with the new coaching staff and a new organization, this is going to be a great start, and I'm excited about it. But it was a long day yesterday until that 17th pick came up and then once I heard my name and got the call, I was obviously very excited. Once I knew I was going to come up here, I was looking forward to coming here and meeting everyone again, seeing everyone, and now I'm here and I'll be back in South Dakota in a couple more hours, so it's been crazy.

Q: Was there a lot of worry about falling in the first round after your 40-yard dash times at the combine?
A: There was a lot of worry because I know when people turn on the film and when I watch the film, I don't ever really consider myself a 4.7-type runner. I think I play a lot faster than that, and I try to. At Iowa I never ran slower than a 4.6, so I went to the combine, and it was a situation where everyone wants to excel and do their best, and I didn't do that. So obviously there was a lot of worry going into those next three weeks preparing for the pro day, and I put everything I had into it and changed my shoes, and that was probably the biggest difference honestly. I ran on the same surface that I ran on in the combine, and I ran about two tenths faster, so I saved myself a little bit maybe. But I think people who watch film and people who know football know I play faster than a 4.7, and I don't think the people who really know were too concerned about it.

Q: Could you tell this franchise was more interested in you than others?
A: I met with a bunch of teams, obviously, at the combine, and you kind of get a feel for who's really interested and what people are looking for. When I took my visit here and had a chance to sit down with Coach Childress and see what he was looking for in a player, he talked a lot about character and about being good on and off the field and carrying the face of the franchise, and that's something I want to bring. I want to bring high character, a high work ethic and be a good player too. That's something that I wanted to fit into. I thought it would be a great fit because that's kind of how it was in college. That's how Coach Ferentz does his business at Iowa, and that's what I was used to. It's nice to carry that to the next level.

Q: Have they given you a book to learn before mini-camp?
A: I think that might have been the first thing that happened, giving me something to start looking at and getting ready for mini-camp. I'm excited about getting the playbook and starting to learn stuff because we didn't do a whole lot of things on defense in Iowa. We were kind of blah, but it will be nice to learn a new system and do some things and maybe get let loose a couple of times and make some plays. It's going to be exciting to play for Coach Pagac because I know the excitement he brings just from meeting with him a couple of times, and I'm looking forward to that.

Q: How much do you know about the cover 2?
A: I know there are two safeties. I know a little bit about it. We didn't play a lot of it in college, but I do know a little bit about it. I think I'm a good fit for the system; I hope I am. I hope that's why they brought me here. I'm looking forward to learning it and doing my best.

Q: Do you compare this transition from college to the pros to your transition from 9-man football to college?
A: I think we'll be able to tell that first play of mini-camp. Obviously the game is going to be tremendously faster. Everyone on the field is as good of an athlete as you are, if not better, and that's why you have to be so sharp mentally from watching film and doing everything the right way because there's little room for error. That's something Coach Tomlin was saying. The physical difference is very tiny in this league, but the mental difference is huge, and that's where you can make up a lot of ground, so that's the kind of approach I'm going to take.

Q: What does it mean to you to be the guy the Vikings look to to make plays?
A: It's exciting. That's what you do as a linebacker; you want to go out there and make tackles. That's the goal of a defensive player, to get the guy down as soon as possible. That's what I try to do, just go make plays. I had heard through the media that they liked Ernie Sims, and I really wanted to be here. This was the place that I really wanted to be, so I was hoping he would go someplace like Detroit so I could come here. It was actually a good fit, so he can go as high as he wants.

Q: What are your thoughts on Hodge going to Green Bay? Have you talked to him yet?
A: I haven't had a chance to talk to him yet. I know he was excited. I had a chance to text him last night on my phone, and he sounded like he was having a good time and enjoying it. Obviously it's exciting because we're going to get a chance to play each other quite a bit. I just told him a long time ago I was going to try and catch him on a special team sometime when he wasn't looking.

Q: Does it feel odd being a rival now when you played together?
A: Yeah, it's going to be a good time because we get to play each other two times a year, if not more in the playoffs. It's nice; it's a rivalry we can always have going. Even though we played on the same team in college, we were kind of rivals because we competed against each other in so many things and tried to push each other. Now it's going to be an actual rivalry where we're playing each other and going for the win, so it will be fun.

He really wants to be a Viking, that is good to hear, I hope Chad does well with the Vikings and be a Viking for the rest of his career :grin:

05-01-2006, 06:00 AM
Nice interview. Glad it worked out for him, nice to see a guy working his way through the ranks from 9-man ball to the only scholarship offered to him in college to a first-rounder.

05-01-2006, 07:56 AM
Wow he really earned his spot in the NFL. Sounds like a hard worker and a good character person. Something thats always great to have.

05-01-2006, 08:07 AM
Does it ever say anywhere what shoes he wore that second time around, the faster time? Is that Nike on the phone? I smell a shoe contract.

05-01-2006, 08:13 AM
Sounds like he will be a perfect fit for us. Im excited about him.

05-01-2006, 08:51 AM
I think it was more of a shoe type/cleat type or something rather than brand...