5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Denver Broncos – Preseason Week 1

(Photo by David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by David Berding-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesosta Vikings
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) Michael Pierce /

Pierce will show Vikings fans what they’ve been missing

Michael Pierce opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns but he has made up for lost time during training camp. Part of Mike Zimmer’s attempt to bring size to the middle of the defensive line, Pierce has been bowling through the Vikings offensive line and drawn attention from co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson.

“He’s big, he’s strong, he’s more athletic than you give him credit for,” Patterson told reporters on Thursday. “You see it in 1-on-1 pass rush. You can see he has some quick edge-to-edge to him and you usually don’t see that in a big, wide-bodied person.”

We already know that Pierce is strong as he put up a 725-pound squat during his time at Samford. But the bigger question has been his ability to rush the passer. Although he’ll play nose, Patterson has liked what he’s seen so far.

“The first time he went 1-on-1 on the first rep, he just took the guy back and walked him back onto the quarterback’s feet. He went right by him, and I was surprised.”

Don’t expect to see much from the Vikings starters on Saturday but if Pierce makes a big play, it should mean good things moving forward.