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Bleacher Report – Vikings

A look at how new Vikings DT Sheldon Richardson mauled the 49ers

By Matthew Coller

In any normal offseason, Sheldon Richardson would have been the big-ticket signing in free agency.

For the Minnesota Vikings, his addition to the No. 1 ranked defense went without much fanfare in large part because the team added Kirk Cousins to the tune of an historic contract.

On Sunday, while Cousins was leading the offense to 343 total yards, Richardson was reminding everyone that he has the capability to take over a game.

“Sheldon played very well,” head coach Mike Zimmer said Monday. “He rushed the passer well, played the run good. I told him I hadn’t seen that guy before. He played really, really well.”

According to Pro Football Focus, the former Jet and Seahawk registered a total of two QB hits, five pressures and two run stuffs.

“Now it’s on tape and I know what he’s going to look like and what he’s supposed to look like,” Zimmer joked. “He was strong at the point of attack in the running game, he made a lot of tackles, he played real hard, pushed the pocket. There was two times where he took the guy with one hand and knocked him back.”

As a team, the Vikings created 26 total pressures. Star pass rusher Everson Griffen had one sack, one QB hit and two hurries. He made note of the impact of having Richardson on the D-line.

“[Richardson} made plays today,” Griffen said. “He was quick up the middle, he affected the quarterback, was good on the run, he played well…having him shoot up the middle, I’m going to have to get my get-off even
better the way that he played today.

Eight pressures went to Danielle Hunter, who benefitted from Richardson’s success rushing the passer on several occasions.

“He’s definitely an animal,” Richardson said of Hunter after the game. “Create-a-player, that’s what we call him.”

Griffen shouted from the other side of the locker room, “That’s why he’s number 99.”

Since the Vikings lost former first-round pick Sharrif Floyd to injury, they have been in search of an all-around force at the three-technique position. In Richardson’s prime, he’s picked up as many as nine sacks and 55 pressures in a single season. Last year he only managed one sack — though his pressures per snap was at a similar rate as in his prime.

“We need him to continue to play like that,” Zimmer said.

On Sunday Richardson was occasionally rotated out, playing 47 of 67 snaps — though he rushed Garoppolo 30 times.

Here are Richardson’s best plays from Sunday’s game…

– Clip 1: Richardson forces a holding penalty on guard Laken Tomlinson

– Clip 2: His initial punch into the chest of the guard sends him flying back for a pressure

– Clip 3: Richardson rushes inside, drawing two blockers and leaving Danielle Hunter one-on-one.

– Clip 4: Again he gets both hands into the chest of the guard and sends him flying back

– Clip 5: Richardson uses his speed to chase Jimmy Garoppolo on a bootleg and take him down before a big gain

– Clip 6: He shreds a run block

– Clip 7: He uses a swim move to clear the guard and pressures Garoppol on the winning interception

The post A look at how new Vikings DT Sheldon Richardson mauled the 49ers appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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