When the Minnesota Vikings players were named to the Pro Bowl, perhaps linebacker Anthony Barr was a mild surprise. Barr received plenty of criticism early in the season, but he's played well as Minnesota's defense has turned its season around too.
Coach Mike Zimmer was highly complimentary of Barr's game the past month as he spoke to reporters on Wednesday.
"He was hurt there for a little bit so maybe that had something to do with it," Zimmer said. "But when he came back, I don’t know. He’s been playing really, really good. He’s always been a good player, I think he’s probably taking it to another level right now. You’d maybe have to ask him."
Barr was named to his fourth straight Pro Bowl. He had a career-high two sacks last week against Miami and has three this season. According to the coach's stats, Barr has 63 tackles this season, along with six tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
"It’s big," Zimmer said of Barr's pass rushing. "He’s played outstanding, really the last month or so, maybe a little longer. Playing with great physicality, effort to the ball. He is doing a lot better in his pass rushing. I think there were some times the other day that he showed up quite a bit on it."