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Lunchbreak: Zimmer Respects Roethlisberger's Ability to 'Let it Rip'

The Vikings defense sacked Drew Brees once on Monday night but never let him get truly comfortable.

Brees has a history of being effective and avoiding sacks. In 16 seasons, he's only been sacked 30 or more times in a year twice.

Minnesota's Week 2 opponent, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, is quite the contrast to Brees and has been effective in spite of sacks. Roethlisberger was sacked 30 or more times in nine of his first 10 seasons.

The past two seasons, however, Roethlisberger was sacked 20 times in 2015 and a career-low 17 times last season.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is familiar with the quarterback from his time as Cincinnati's defensive coordinator (2008-13).

Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press *covered what Zimmer expects from Roethlisberger* **and respects about the 6-foot-5, 240-pound QB.

Zimmer noted on Thursday, "Just because you get around him doesn't mean you sack him."

Murphy wrote:

*Big Ben's shiftiness in the pocket, his innate ability to absorb hits and sidestep pressure to extend plays and buy time for his receivers to get open downfield is what distinguishes him as a star quarterback with two Super Bowl victories and five Pro Bowls to his name. *

Just ask Zimmer, who regularly schemed against Roethlisberger when he was Cincinnati's defensive coordinator going up against the Bengals' AFC North rivals.

*Familiarity breeds respect and deference. *

"He's a very athletic guy," Zimmer said. "The thing I've always admired about him is he's going to stand in there, he's going to take the shot and he's going to let it rip. And he's accurate when you hit him."

Steelers Attentive to Vikings in Week 1

The Steelers opened up the 2017 on the road, defeating the Browns 21-18 last Sunday.

They will now return home to Pittsburgh to host Minnesota for Week 2, and the Steelers aren't taking their upcoming opponent lightly.

Ed Bouchette of the *Pittsburgh Post-Gazette *wrote that the Steelers will have a different test this Sunday "when the NFL's big boys come to town."

Sam Bradford is no rookie quarterback and, unlike the Browns offense, the Minnesota Vikings have all kinds of talent around him to catch, run and block.

Bouchette quoted Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton, who said that Minnesota has "a lot more weapons" and is "more explosive" than Pittsburgh's season-opening opponent.

*The Steelers offense has the high-powered reputation; Minnesota is the one that produced in the first game of the season. It will be up to the Steelers defense to show that [its] dominance of the Browns was not just because it came against the Browns. *

Bouchette also highlighted the performance of rookie running back Dalvin Cook.

Cook, drafted in the second round from Florida State, is a familiar name to Steelers linebacker Anthony Chickillo, a Miami product. Chickillo recorded two sacks against the Browns in addition to recovering a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown.

"I played against him a bunch in college," Chickillo said of Cook. "So I know he's a good player. He looked good on Monday. He's fast, man, he makes one cut, gets outside and not a lot of people can get him. We can't let him get going."

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