Former Arkansas (and Fayetteville High) linebacker Dre Greenlaw played in as big of a game in football earlier this year when San Francisco played against Kansas City.
“It was a dream come true,” he said Friday afternoon to Derek Ruscin and Zach Arns (Ruscin & Zach) on ESPN Arkansas. “We fell short but I have a feeling we’ll be back.”
In the moment of playing in that game Greenlaw didn’t have a lot of time to think about much except getting ready for the Chiefs’ high-flying offense. Then the Covid-19 pandemic blew up.
“Hard for me to take it all in,” he said. “You’re on to the next team, then when the season ended you’re onto the next season.”
And he’s already figured out the NFL is all about business and that never really stops. Sentiment doesn’t often factor into much.
“It’s a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league,” Greenlaw said. “It’s about how you finished and my head is right now we came up short. You can’t get settled with just making a play or making the team. You have to stay hungry.”
Like everything else in sports, all of the off-season work has been online. Usually teams have OTA’s and it’s a 12-month grind for players. Now it’s a little different.
“It’s been interesting,” Greenlaw said. “You’ve always got to prepare for everything and you have to be able to adapt to change. Really we’re just going through the basics, then when we understand the basics go in-depth on the defense.
“It’s going good. The coaching staff has done a really good job of just going with the flow.”
During his time at Arkansas he played over 2,000 snaps during his career and is very familiar with new coach Sam Pittman, who was on the staff when he was recruited and his freshman season.
Greenlaw caught up with him a few weeks ago at the football facility.
“We picked up right where we left off,” he said. “He loves the game of football. Coach Pittman was a great pick and can put the Razorbacks in the position they need to be in to win.”
Last year he really wasn’t expecting former coach Chad Morris to be out the door as fast as he was, either.
“Very surprised,” Greenlaw said. “The nail on the head was the Kentucky game. He didn’t have the record we wanted but he was bringing in guys that could do what he wanted to do. It was real fast.”
That was the politically correct thing to say.
“The Razorbacks know what they’re doing picking the right guys with a guy like coach Pittman who loves Arkansas,” Greenlaw said. “Coach Morris was really passionate about winning.”
He didn’t mention Morris “loving” Arkansas, just winning. With the Razorbacks you better understand and embrace the uniqueness of the culture or you’re probably going to have problems fast if you’re not winning games.
But Greenlaw is positive about the future.
“For the most part we have everything in place,” he said. “You’ve got to see the growth and development and see things on the inside. Coach Pittman has to come in and get everybody to play for him.”