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Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


270204211

Barr makes an impact with his first (unofficial) sack

Posted by: Matt Vensel Updated August 9th at 12:18pm 270569711

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. … 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.”

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