Question: Who will start at Mike linebacker for Mike Zimmer in Minnesota this year? Answer: We don’t know yet but if early indications mean anything, it will probably be Chad Greenway.
Thus far in camp – and we’re only a couple practice sessions in, of course – the Vikings have employed something of a mix-and-match approach at linebacker, as Zimmer and defensive coordinator George Edwards seek to find the best combination.
On day one, Audie Cole got some looks at Sam, Chad Greenway’s old spot. Day two, it was Anthony Barr in at Sam.
Michael Mauti has seen action as well. And Jasper Brinkley. And Gerald Hodges. The message here is clear: the Vikings don’t yet know what they have, don’t yet know who fits where.
Does veteran Greenway ultimately fit best at MLB, a position he’s never played in the NFL? Mike Zimmer told the Star-Trib’s Matt Vensel when asked about Greenway maybe starting at the Mike:
It’s a possibility. We keep working him in there. We’re just trying to find the best 11 players we can and then figure out where the rest of the guys are going to fit. It’s not out of the question, but time will tell a little bit more on that.
If subsequent practice happenings mean anything at all, time is slowly telling the Vikings that Greenway makes the most sense at MLB. When asked about it Saturday, DC Edwards said (via Andrew Krammer of ESPN):
Edwards: "It may end up that way" that Chad Greenway becomes signal caller on field for LBs.
— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) July 26, 2014
Through all this transition and uncertainty, Greenway is projecting all the confidence you would expect from a nine-year vet. He told Krammer:
I feel really good. Physically I feel good. I came in great condition, and I’m ready to go.
But is he ready to take on an entirely new position in an entirely new scheme nine years into his career? That’s the real question.
Even if he isn’t ready, the Vikings may have no better alternative.