Buzzing about Barr; Vikings rookie makes big first impression


After giving a game ball to Alex and his grandpa, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters he also gave out a game ball to Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.

Barr stripped the ball from Tampa Bay tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the first play of overtime, scooped it up, then raced 27 yards into the end zone to score the game-winning touchdown in Minnesota's 19-13 victory over Tampa Bay on Sunday.

It was the biggest play of his young NFL career to this point, and it has created a buzz around the Vikings rookie.

"Anthony has done a great job, he is very, very talented," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer told reporters on Monday. "The thing I love the most about him is the way he studies, he takes a lot of notes and he's very prideful about not making the same mistakes twice."

Zimmer has used Barr's combination of size and athleticism as a defensive end and as a linebacker. Barr was used as an outside pass rushing linebacker in UCLA's 3-4 scheme last season, but as a rookie with the Vikings in Zimmer's 4-3 scheme, Barr been asked to learn a new spot.

"I'm impressed with the way he has been able to adapt to moving to a new position," Zimmer added.

Barr hasn't been just adapting to the new system, he seems to be thriving in it, just eight games into his career.

"I think I'm pretty versatile," Barr said to reporters. "I think this defense allows me to line up in different areas and use my talents in a positive way to help the team win games."

According to ESPN's Ben Goessling, once Barr fine tunes his game, he has a chance to be "an absolute terror."

"He has recovered three fumbles in the last two weeks, and he recorded his third sack of the season to go along with eight tackles. He's just three years removed from playing running back at UCLA and is learning his responsibilities in a 4-3 defense after mostly rushing the passer as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme with the Bruins."

According to Goessling, veterans in the Vikings' locker room rave about how quickly Barr has learned his assignments, especially considering that he wasn't able to start his career until a month after the draft.

Still, Barr hasn't exceeded his own expectations.

"My expectations are very high and they are going to continue to be so," said Barr.

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