Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Vikings vote Peterson, Greenway, Walsh as Players of the Year

Posted by: under Vikings, Vikings coaches, Adrian Peterson, Chad Greenway Updated: January 10, 2013 - 2:08 PM

It's safe to say Vikings coaches and players didn't have to labor too hard when asked recently to vote on their team Players of the Year for offense, defense and special teams. On Thursday, during a gab session with reporters, General Manager Rick Spielman announced the winners of those awards.

Offensive Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson.

Defensive Player of the Year: Chad Greenway.

Special Teams Player of the Year: Blair Walsh.

No real shockers. Peterson, a leading candidate for league MVP honors, rushed for 2,097 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also tied a league record with seven runs of 50 yards or longer and was the catalyst of the Vikings' push to get into the playoffs. Oh, and if you hadn't heard, Peterson accomplished all that while coming back from major reconstructive knee surgery following tears of his anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments during the Vikings' penultimate game in 2011.

Greenway continued his ascension as a player this season by leading the Vikings in tackles and stabilizing a defense that made marked improvements in 2012. The Vikings credited Greenway with 191 tackles, seven for loss and three sacks. Official NFL stats recorded 148 Greenway tackles, third best in the league behind Carolina's Luke Kuechly (164) and San Francisco's NaVorro Bowman (149).

Walsh? A sixth-round draft pick last April, he'll be headed for the Pro Bowl in two weeks after an impressive rookie campaign in which he hit 35 of his 38 field goal attempts, including all 10 from 50 yards or beyond. He also produced 53 touchbacks on 86 kickoffs.

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