Minnesota Vikings: Anthony Barr could be ‘a real man’


When people talk about the 2015 Minnesota Vikings, there are some names that people throw around as guys that will have big years.  Among those are quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, running back Adrian Peterson, wide receiver Mike Wallace and other offensive players.  However, some of the most promising players are on the defensive side of the ball.

Nov 23, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) looks on during the second quarter against the Green Bay Packers at TCF Bank Stadium. The Packers defeated the Vikings 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive end Everson Griffen and safety Harrison Smith have become cornerstones of the Vikings defense, but sometimes linebacker Anthony Barr gets lost in the shuffle.

The former first round draft pick showed plenty of potential during his rookie year.  He had 70 combined tackles, 4 sacks, 3 pass defenses, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 defensive touchdown in his 12 games played during the 2014 season.  Perhaps the most impressive part of his game is the ability to sniff out screens and react quickly to plays as they develop.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer has big plans for Barr during the 2015 season.  He plans on moving the dynamic young man all over the defense and making the offense respond to different looks defensively.  According to an article on Scout.com, that kind of versatility will help to throw off opposing teams.

"“Going through the season last year people schemed us a lot in certain things so you always try to think about ways you can not screw your guys up but make it more difficult for the other team to know what you’re doing,” Zimmer said."

The shifting of Barr will be interesting to watch.  There are times we’ll see him doing many different things, including lining up a defensive end, dropping back into coverage, blitzing, and much more.  His head coach believes that if Barr can settle down, that he can be a real force in the NFL.

"“I don’t think so much moving to linebacker, I just think some of the time he’s missed in the offseason, in the weight room and some of those things,” Zimmer said. “Once those things settle down and he has a chance to really get into that, he’s got a chance to be a real man.”"

So, with all these ideas about things to do with Anthony Barr, what kind of statistics should we expect from him?  Well, Mike Zimmer isn’t about to put a number on the potential that he sees.

"“I don’t go into it saying he’s going to get 10 sacks and all that stuff, just perform well,” said the head coach. “It’s just like with Everson (Griffen). I don’t say he’s going to get 12 sacks and this guy’s going to get three interceptions. My expectations are more about how they play, how they do their job and how they perform.”"

Anthony Barr, Mike Zimmer and the rest of the Minnesota Vikings will be in action in the second game on Monday Night Football’s double header on September 14, 2015 against the San Francisco 49ers.  Check your local listings for time and availability.

Next: Minnesota Vikings 2015 Game By Game Previews

More from The Viking Age