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Ozzy

Will Anthony Barr play more on the line/edge this year?

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Are the Vikings going to play Barr more on the edge this year in pass rushing situations or just in general?  I really hope they do, the pass rush is getting weak with Griffen aging and Joseph getting older.  Hunter is a beast but not much else besides him unless Weatherly, Odenigbo, Stephen or Jaleel Johnson greatly improve.  They did not really address the DL in the draft either so hopefully that is a sign they are going to put Barr more as a pass rusher.  Barr is ok in coverage but really he is best attack down hill and not back in coverage.

 

Typical 4/3 defense:  What they usually do, and only change I would make is have Wilson the starter not Gedeon, need to get better in coverage no question.  Still not sure they use Barr well enough in this set.


DE Hunter
DT Joseph
DT Stephen
DE Griffen

OLB Barr
ILB Kendricks
OLB Wilson

CB Rhodes
CB Waynes
SS Smith
FS Harris

 

 

 

 

 

Potential 5 man front defense more of a 3/4 look.  Not typical 3/4 at all, could maybe throw Jaleel Johnson in there or Odenigbo, Weatherly or Holmes instead of Griffen but he could be hard to deal with in passing situations possibly, or could kick Hunter inside and have Griffen stay outside that would make more sense and most likely what happens.  


OLB Barr
DE Stephen
DT Joseph
DE Hunter
OLB Griffen

LB Kendricks

CB Rhodes
CB Waynes
CB Hughes/ Alexander
SS Smith
FS Harris

 

 

Or just got typical Nickel defense.  With Barr on the edge as a DE and two linebackers, again Gedeon to me should be totally out unless it is an obvious run down and Wilson should be in a lot more.  Or who knows maybe Cameron Smith or Downs if they develop nicely to fit in that other LB spot.  Might be the best option and allow them to stay strong up the middle still.


DE Barr
DT Joseph
DT Stephen
DE Hunter

LB Kendricks
LB Wilson

CB Rhodes
CB Waynes
CB Hughes/ Alexander
SS Smith
FS Harris

 

 

 

Either way they can be versatile about it, drop Barr in coverage, play him on the line and bring him back.  Could even do that in the typical 4/3 defense but move Barr around and have him on the line at times and other times not.  Could have him even start on the line and just the threat of the rush and just play his OLB responsibilities.  I think it would be a great idea for them to do as a rusher and there was hints at that when he resigned so hopefully that is the case this year.  They need that pass rush back up to top form, without Hunter's great sack numbers they would be struggling to get pressure and production.  Even with Barr being a 4 time Pro Bowler I do not feel he has reached his potential as a player, get him around the line more and let him go to work instead of being back in coverage.  

 

 

 

 

Would help to assist the defense by running the damn ball every once in awhile, last year 30th in yards and 27th in attempts thanks John D.  Year before 7th in yards and 2nd in attempts.  

giphy.gif

 

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It’s hard to tell, I still think Griffen last year was just out of it, not coming back in shape with the issues. 

Zimmer seems happy with him. 

 

Barr I really don’t want coming off the edge, I’d much rather see him just being a surprise disruption from any gap, he’s not the greatest pass rusher in the world, but he hits gaps so hard it throws off the whole line when it comes as a surprise.

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8 hours ago, gopherwrestler said:

It’s hard to tell, I still think Griffen last year was just out of it, not coming back in shape with the issues. 

Zimmer seems happy with him. 

 

Barr I really don’t want coming off the edge, I’d much rather see him just being a surprise disruption from any gap, he’s not the greatest pass rusher in the world, but he hits gaps so hard it throws off the whole line when it comes as a surprise.

Maybe and sure do not have to play him specifically on the line with his hand in the ground.  But blitzing alone they should bring him way more often than they do, he has potential to be a 6 to 10 sack guy I feel with his speed and size no question.  He is good at blitzing when they bring him and can be a major factor that way.  To me he is more dangerous attacking the passer than dropping in coverage, being aggressive attacking the run or shooting in getting tackles for loss.  I thought that is why he was considering the move to the Jets to play more a 3/4 OLB position in a blitzing scheme of Gregg Williams.

 

 

Watch the 50 second mark and 2:12 minute mark, especially at 2:12 the guy just knives in and makes a play uses his quickness and speed.

 

 

Not saying he should be on the line all the time no but be versatile and use him off the edge or blitzing far more than they do.  Still would not mind if he is a stand up edge defender in the nickle on a five man line and is given the chance to drop in coverage or come around the corner.  Hopefully Griffen was just down last year because of his off the field stuff.  But I think some has to do with age but maybe it was just out of shape.  They did not address the line in the draft like I said so either Griffen has to round back to form or Weatherly, Odenigbo, Stephen or Jaleel Johnson have to take it to the next level.  

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For your regular nickel, sub Kearse for Wilson and Griffen for Joseph.  Could even have Mata'afa or Holmes in for Stephen.  That could be scary.

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1 hour ago, NoDakViking said:

For your regular nickel, sub Kearse for Wilson and Griffen for Joseph.  Could even have Mata'afa or Holmes in for Stephen.  That could be scary.

Kearse did do well as a CB/OLB but only in blitz situations or against the TE, against quick receivers he would get kicked and could not hang with them.  Love his length and like him blitzing off the edge, wish he was more solid in coverage he should really be the starter not Harris but his level of play and development is not there.

 

Mata'afa I am interested in seeing in preseason.  Apparently the guy has gained weight to 275 pounds and as a pass rushing DT who can shoot gaps he could be great.  Will see if he can actually produce, first in preseason then in real season games.  But that would be great if he could play some DT in pass rush downs or even be a rotational DT.  LB apparently has not worked out for him which is not surprise, but DT or DE in a five man line would be nice.  That would help the Vikings pass rush greatly as well but again need to see it actually on the field first.  

 

Interesting article on him

https://www.twincities.com/2019/06/05/hawaii-native-hercules-mataafa-impresses-vikings-with-skills-learned-back-on-the-islands/

 

In terms of Griffen as a DT in pass rush situations, not sold on him winning in the middle but maybe if he got a one on one with a slow guard.  Stephen I like and has ability, honestly with Holmes have not seen much out of him to expect much but would be nice to see him do well.  My guess is Stephen or Jaleel are the main backup and or starting DT opposite Joseph not Holmes.  

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Zimmer has mentioned there may be new wrinkles involving Barr....

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53 minutes ago, Klomp said:

Zimmer has mentioned there may be new wrinkles involving Barr....

giphy.gif

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Hopefully Zim won't get any more wrinkles because of Barr.

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I feel like this conversation takes place every year in camp, and nothing happens. And nor should it. Barr hasn't shown he can be an edge rusher and at this stage in his career being so far removed from it, I don't see it happening.

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Barr shouldn’t be rushing off the edge. Just keep blitzing him through the A and B gaps. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SemperFeist said:

Barr shouldn’t be rushing off the edge. Just keep blitzing him through the A and B gaps. 

2014 Sacks 4, TFL 6, QBHits 7
2015 Sacks 3.5, TFL, 4, QBHits 8
2016 Sacks 2, TFL 3, QBHits 8
2017 Sacks 1, TFL 9, QBHits 4
2018 Sacks 3, TFL 8, QBHits 4

These are his pressure stats over the years, and oddly enough 4 out of these 5 were Pro Bowl seasons.  Is it just me or does it not seem like he could double some of these stats and should?  Those are not amazing numbers and I feel if brought more and asked to do it more often he would be more productive which would impact the game a lot more also.  He is a monster when he goes after the QB so why not let him loose more often?  

 

PS the A and B gap blitz is not as effective as it was two years ago, last year teams were able to figure it out a lot easier and it did not take many by surprise either.  Not to mention it was not ran all game long, if you put Barr on the edge as a stand up OLB and he could drop at any time or rush at any time that would be harder to predict arguably.  

 

3 hours ago, vikingsrule said:

I feel like this conversation takes place every year in camp, and nothing happens. And nor should it. Barr hasn't shown he can be an edge rusher and at this stage in his career being so far removed from it, I don't see it happening.

You talk about him as if he is some 15 year NFL vet or something.  And to say he cannot get pressure off the edge, well yes he can and has.  Move him around helps sure but regardless he has to be brought on a blitz or asked to blitz far more often than he is.  And again you would rather have him back in coverage on the slot or TE?  IF the Vikings cannot get pressure from Griffen or Weatherly someone has to take up the slack and I think Barr could help in that regard.  
 

Edited by Ozzy

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P.S. - Barr has not rushed off the edge very often as a Viking, and almost all of his stats that you grabbed from whichever stat site you used were accumulated by rushing in the A and B gaps. He is great at getting pressure in QBs lap, and isn't very good at getting around the outside. I will never understand why people are hellbent on trying to make him rush from the edge. Let him collapse the pocket and force QBs back toward the edge rushers. 

He's also incredibly good in space when he is not asked to cover another team's WRs in the slot. They need him to continue to do what he does well in order to keep the Vikings Defense performing as a top 5 unit like they have been most of the time since he was drafted.

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9 minutes ago, JDBrocks said:

P.S. - Barr has not rushed off the edge very often as a Viking, and almost all of his stats that you grabbed from whichever stat site you used were accumulated by rushing in the A and B gaps. He is great at getting pressure in QBs lap, and isn't very good at getting around the outside. I will never understand why people are hellbent on trying to make him rush from the edge. Let him collapse the pocket and force QBs back toward the edge rushers. 

He's also incredibly good in space when he is not asked to cover another team's WRs in the slot. They need him to continue to do what he does well in order to keep the Vikings Defense performing as a top 5 unit like they have been most of the time since he was drafted.

I will post this again, watch at the 2:12 mark.  Heck even a few more when he is outside against the Seahawks.  PS that was his last sack of the season in that game and it was week 4.  Is that a good thing?  I would say no it is not.  

 

 

If you think the stats he gets are great amazing stats then fine, I feel he can get far more pressures and sacks if put in the position to do so.  If you want to keep him in the middle of the field and bring him on a blitz sure but again that rarely happens compared to putting him on the outside consistently and either he runs with the TE or runs with the back or comes after the QB.

I also feel you overrate his coverage abilities, sure he is good compared to Eric Kendricks who is pretty bad at it not to mention Gedeon.  There is a reason Wilson played more late last year and that is to be better in space at the LB position.  

 

And who is hellbent on thinking he can be an outside rusher?  I have never brought this up before and I do not think many others have either.  As for why, they drafted little to zero DL talent this past year, Griffen is getting older and worse and so is Joseph and the development of the younger DLs is nothing to be amazed by.  Thus would be nice to get some rush that is what I am saying and Barr could do that more than he has been asked to do it.  

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Posted (edited)

I want Barr rushing the QB (from gaps) ... 75% of the time.
We are simply not maximizes his skill set having him drop into coverage.
He doesn't need to always get home, for his presences to be felt, which will help out coverage units with 'decreased passing accuracy'

Edited by CriminalMind

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26 minutes ago, CriminalMind said:

I want Barr rushing the QB (from gaps) ... 75% of the time.
We are simply not maximizes his skill set having him drop into coverage.
He doesn't need to always get home, for his presences to be felt, which will help out coverage units with 'decreased passing accuracy'

I would love to know the percentage of times Barr blitzed last year compared to how many times he got home or made an impact on the rush.  Would be curious, 75% seems a little high to send him during a game but I agree he should come to the QB way more.

 

At what 6-5 255 I read he is in the 97th percentile for linebackers in height and 93nd percentile in weight.  Is in the 60th percentile in the 40 at 4.66, 90th percentile in the three cone drill and 86 percentile arm length.  The guy is big and has the physical size of a 3/4 OLB.  

 

 

 

Maybe more of a ILB in a nickel type situation I would not mind sure.  And he is good in coverage as long as it is close to the line and not deep down field in space.  

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And doing something like this is important no question but it is still attacking down hill and being allowed to do it.  Using him as more the ILB and Wilson with him is an interesting idea no question and being allowed to run again is great at his size as long as it does not happen 30 yards down field and stays 10-15 yards near the LOS.

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Here he is on the far left edge, and just that threat alone is a problem for an offense I feel and he can drop or pressure and the offense really has no clue.  Sure up the middle is quicker to arrive and I am fine with that also in a nickel 2 LB situation with 5 DBs.  

ezgif.com-video-to-gif-210.gif

 

 

Maybe it does not really matter where it comes from, I think he can rush off the edge consistently, others do not.  Regardless move him around and bring him more often no matter if that is a inside LB blitz or outside edge rush.  His tackles were down last year and was his QB pressures and passes defected.  It was a some what down year period for him especially in terms of game impact, would be nice to see him become more of a force and a factor out there.

 

 

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