MANKATO, Minn. -- One of the great mysteries of the Minnesota Vikings' otherwise stingy defense in the Mike Zimmer Teddy Bridgewater Jerseys era has been the disappearance of linebacker Anthony Barr, the No. 9 overall pick of the 2014 draft who burst on the scene as a dynamic playmaker but soon faded into the ether.

By the end of last season, Zimmer was noting publicly Barr's "tendency to coast a little bit." Adrian Peterson Jerseys His sacks, batted passes and forced fumbles totals dropped, and it was fair to wonder if the Vikings were going to get the value they expected from a top-10 draft pick. (Among the players they passed on in their No. 9 spot are receiver Odell Beckham Jr., chosen at No. 12, and defensive tackle Aaron Donald, selected one spot later.)

Even Barr acknowledged the issue, saying at the start of camp that picking up his effort has been a "big emphasis" during the offseason. Anthony Barr Jerseys As it turns out, his pledge wasn't just a matter of words. According to Zimmer and others, Barr turned a corner early in the offseason and has been practicing at a noticeably better pace ever since.

It's difficult for outside observers to gauge effort at practice, Brett Favre Jerseys where players are instructed to move at different speeds based on the type and intent of the drill. But Zimmer, who is not prone to hyperbole or even false praise, used words such as "tremendous" and "phenomenal" to describe Barr's practice habits.

"He's been tremendous," Zimmer said over the weekend. Harrison Smith Jerseys "I look for him to have a big year. I am constantly trying to figure out ways to use him more and more and more. His effort has been outstanding. He's very conscientious about making sure he runs to the football all of the time. He's working very hard on getting off the blocks, just working very hard on his coverage and his pressures. He's had a phenomenal [camp]. Really, he has had a phenomenal spring and camp so far."

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