Chad Greenway: Still Not Getting Any Love

Andy RAnalyst IJuly 14, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 12:  Chad Greenway #52 of the Minnesota Vikings reacts on the sidelines during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at the Metrodome on September 14, 2008 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

He grew up on a farm in South Dakota and made a career out of drilling opposing running backs into the ground.

In his free time, he'd work on the family hog farm. He has always put his family first and football second.

Few people knew who he was in college, but was highly regarded as a stout tackler in Iowa. For his efforts, the Vikings selected him as their first-round pick in 2006.

In his first preseason game, he tore his ACL on the opening kickoff. He was lost for the entire year.

Vikings fans quickly forgot about their former number one draft pick. After all, the three previous first-round picks hadn't panned out whatsoever (Kenechi Udeze, Troy Williamson, and Erasmus James).

It was just another draft bust for a struggling team with terrible coaching.

The following year, he made an immediate impact.

In his first regular season game, he recorded ten tackles. It was smooth sailing from there.

He would finish his "rookie" season with 105 tackles and two interceptions.

His knee didn't seem to be bothering him at all. In fact, you couldn't even tell that he had missed an entire year.

His third year looked promising. After E.J. Henderson was sidelined with an injury, Greenway stepped in as the leader of the No. 1 ranked rushing defense.

His 115 tackles in 2008 ranked him second among the NFL for outside linebackers. His 5.5 sacks ranked him first for linebackers in a 4-3 defense.

He'll be entering his fourth year with the Vikings and his third for which he's actually played in.

So why hasn't Greenway received any recognition?

In a defense that features Antoine Winfield, Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and Pat Williams, it's hard to get noticed sometimes.

Without a doubt, he's one of the best linebackers in the league. It's only a matter of time before he gets the recognition he deserves.

Until then, he'll have to keep blitzing quarterbacks and flattening running backs.