It didn't take long for Anthony Barr to display the pass-rushing prowess that the Vikings were hoping for when they drafted the towering outside linebacker from UCLA. As the final seconds ticked down in the first quarter of yesterday's 10-6 win over the Raiders, Barr toppled quarterback Matt Schaub. The tape will show that it was a coverage sack, but it still counted on the score sheet.
"I think the coverage helped me out a little bit, and then I was able to redirect and come back inside and make the play," said Barr, who started at Sam linebacker and played into the second quarter.
Barr split the sack with defensive tackle Tom Johnson, and it was his only tackle of the game. After the game, head coach Mike Zimmer lamented that he did not give Barr more opportunities to blitz.
"I think Barr did fine," Zimmer said. "I didn't give him enough chances probably to blitz tonight. â¦ I said after about the third or fourth series, I said I've got to get him going a little bit more."
Barr said that the Vikings only asked him to rush off the edge a couple of times against the Raiders.
Still, he was able to make an impact in his first professional game and he enjoyed his debut.
"It was a lot of fun," Barr said. "It was a great time out there."