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Rush Rules Important for Vikings Against Seahawks Mobile QBs

Tyrod Taylor felt the heat, and the Bills quarterback escaped pressure from Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter last week.

As Taylor tried to use his legs for a significant gain, he spotted Anthony Barr waiting and opted for the sidelines with just a 2-yard gain.

The play counted as the only rush attempt on the night in limited action for Taylor, who has rushed 199 times for 1,048 yards in the past two seasons.

The Vikings will be tested by two more mobile quarterbacks tonight when they face the Seahawks in Seattle.

Everyone in the NFL is aware of how hard it can be to contain Russell Wilson. The fleet-footed QB has totaled 2,689 yards on 483 attempts in his first five seasons. In addition to designed runs, Wilson has been able to escape trouble on pass plays or buy time to free up receivers down the field.

When the Vikings and Seahawks met last preseason, Wilson didn't have a rush attempt, and he only rushed three times for two yards during the entire 2016 preseason. Wilson was 5-for-11 passing for 77 yards and took **four sacks by the Vikings** before tagging in Trevone Boykin a year ago.

An undrafted rookie in 2016, Boykin completed 10 of 20 passes for 127 yards and took two sacks against Minnesota. He rushed two times for 11 yards against the Vikings but totaled 12 rushes for 70 yards last preseason.

Last week, Boykin rushed four times for 31 yards and completed 12 of 15 passes for 189 yards against the Chargers.

"They're both move-around guys. Boykin maybe even more so," Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "The issue a lot of times is that they're a better athlete than the guy rushing them. So you might think you have them contained, and the next thing you know, they're outside you. So it makes playing defense a little bit more difficult because you get into zone, or guys run off in man-to-man, the guy finds a seam to scramble in, even if it's not outside. Then it causes a lot of problems."

Zimmer said the Vikings must rush mobile quarterbacks "a different way" than traditional pocket passers.

"We can't just go, like, 'I'm going to beat you and I don't care,' " Zimmer said.

Defensive Coordinator George Edwards also was asked about containing mobile quarterbacks. He pointed to the damage that Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Lions signal-caller can do after moving in, around and ahead of the line of scrimmage.

"In our division we've got some quarterbacks that are able to get out of the pocket, so that's something that we have to prepare for and see twice a year out of two teams," Edwards said. "So for us, it'll be critical. With [Russell] Wilson, he's very special in the pocket. He has a good feel for pocket pressure, and we've got to do a good job of rushing him and keeping him contained, not getting too high and allowing him to step up and run the ball.

The preseason is less about drawing up detailed rush plans and more about applying principles that will come in handy when plans go into full effect. Perhaps the number one rule for a rusher is to not allow oneself to get pushed past the quarterback. Working with teammates on maintaining rush lanes is another.

"I think each week we have a rush plan, and when we have a mobile quarterback of course we're going to talk about our rush lanes and those types of deals with the front," Edwards said. "But this is the preseason. We're not doing a lot of game-planning. We're really just knowing we've got a mobile quarterback, and knowing what we've got to do as far as our rush plan."

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