Anthony Barr will stay put at linebacker for the Vikings

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Anthony Barr not only will remain in Minnesota this year, but he also will remain at the position he has played throughout his NFL career.

Via Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Barr will not be moving from linebacker to defensive end.

“He’ll be a linebacker,” coach Mike Zimmer told Hartman. “We’re doing a few different things defensively so you’ll get a chance to see how it looks, but we’re going to make a few changes with some of the things schematically just from our offseason study.”

Generally speaking, Zimmer feels very good about the second line of Minnesota’s defense.

“[Eric] Kendricks is a good player, Barr is a good player, [Ben] Gedeon is a good player,” Zimmer said. “We drafted the kid from USC [Cameron Smith] and so far he looks good, we kind of like him. We have Devonte Downs, who was basically redshirted last year so we’ll see how he is. Eric Wilson played a lot last year. I think we’ll be OK.”

The defense was better than OK last year, but the team’s overall performance wasn’t good enough to make it to the playoffs. That has created a greater sense of urgency on both sides of the ball in 2019.

“Just having a disappointing end to last year, I think guys are more on point and looking forward to practicing at a good pace,” Barr told Hartman.

They’ll hope to be playing at a better pace, and the challenge will be to get off to a great start with a schedule that is favorable in that it doesn’t require the not-ready-for-prime-time-in-2018 Vikings to play in prime time in 2019 until Week Eight. By then, the Vikings and everyone else will have an idea regarding whether Minnesota will perform more like the team did in 2017.

15 responses to “Anthony Barr will stay put at linebacker for the Vikings

  1. One could say they’re “all in” this year – given that they couldn’t offer coffee to the players if they had to fit it under the cap.

  2. Those two players are more than “good”. The key will be Shamar and Everson. If those two are “good” then the defense will be great.

  3. Barr is a good LB. It’s too bad my Packers don’t have him. I just hope he doesn’t break Aaron. Again. That was terrible.

  4. Before Kubiak got sick his teams thrived on a strong defense and a play action offense. Manning put up 50 TD’s and went to two and won a super bowl with a rubber band arm. The Vikings are built just like those teams. I don’t think the rest of the league will be prepared for it. With the offense they’re going to see. The Vikings have talent and depth at almost every position. With the stellar draft this team is stacked. I think the Vikings are going to put up huge offensive numbers and the defense will play off of that success and be the #1 scoring defense much like chicago last year. They’ll be this years Chiefs and probably snatch my heart out again loosing the NFCCG.

  5. In a pass-happy league, he may see the field very infrequently. They use tape of him in drop-back pass coverage, to show how NOT to do it.

  6. First not sure this is news. Last year the first third of the season the defense wasn’t it’s normal self, but played very well after a weird slow start. If OTA’s are any indication we are seeing the old Everson, smiling, having fun, and back in front of the media he sounds closer to his old self than he was at any point last year. If we get even 80% of old Ev it has a huge impact on this D especially with the way Hunter and Weatherly have progressed. I think this offensive scheme will fit what Zim wants and think it could be pretty explosive with 14,19, 82,84, & 33 on the field. As always can’t wait for football season and for the first time in a long time at least the Twins are giving us a decent distraction while we wait for the NFL to be back!

  7. Was there ever any doubt that Barr would play LB? This team is already loaded at DE, where the backups (Bower and Weatherly) have bright futures ahead of them.

    The problem last season wasn’t the defense, but the offense. In five the their seven losses (Buffalo, Chicago twice, Seattle, New England), the offense was horrendous. In only one of those five games did the Vikings reach 20 points, and that was because of two trash-time TDs late in Chicago. If the Vikings are going to make the postseason, that cannot happen again this year. Hopefully the changes at OL prove to be an upgrade, and these guys will stay healthy.

    Final thought: I don’t look at the early schedule as favorable, as they have three division road games in the first seven weeks of the season. They’ll need to win at least two of those to have a shot at the division title.

  8. is anthony that good? he seems like he has faded since the great expectations of being that first round pick? no more splash plays lately? or are we supposed to have faith that he is making plays in other ways that we can just not see with the naked eye? anyway lets pray the vikings can play like the twins are outta nowhere!

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