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Final Thoughts: The Rush Plan for Rodgers Requires Smarts, Not Haste

Playing Aaron Rodgers is no different than playing any other quarterback. Getting pressure on the passer is paramount. The manner in which you attempt to get pressure on the passer is vastly different with the future Hall of Famer, though.

"We've got to do a good job just like always with our rush plan and covering those guys down the field, because when he starts scrambling around they're headed right to the end zone," defensive coordinator George Edwards explained. "Guys got to be disciplined with their eyes, disciplined as far as leverage in coverage, and we've got to do a good job with our rush plan up front."

A rush plan is a set of rules and a game-specific strategy the defense sets during the week as they attempt to defeat an opponent's blocking scheme and disrupt the quarterback. A non-mobile, pocket passer requires a different rush plan than a quarterback who is blessed with mobility and is able to execute throws outside the pocket. In Rodgers, Green Bay has one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history at avoiding pressure and throwing outside the pocket.

"Right, that's why I said it doesn't matter what system he's in, he's such a dynamic talent at the quarterback position, decision making and being able to have that kind of presence in the pocket to move around still release the ball down the field," Edwards said. "Not only that, but he's got a quick release. If you're pressuring him he's got the ability to get the ball out quick. No matter what system he's in, I think those traits are going to carry over within what they're asking him to do."

Sunday's rush plan will not be all about speed and haste. It will be important for the Vikings rushers to be aware of what the other rushers will be doing so there is an understanding of where Rodgers may try to flee. Additionally, those in coverage must be aware of Rodgers' ability to buy more time, which gives receivers an extra chance to break open.

Look back at photos through the years featuring games between the Vikings and Packers.

Hidden offense

The Vikings offense scored four touchdowns last week. But doing so did not require offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski to dive deeply into his playbook or bag of tricks. The first two touchdown drives totaled six plays, after all.

"We'll take it," Stefanski said. "Our special teams giving us the ball right there. The defense giving us the ball right there. So, being up 21-0 early like that was really unique. Again, we want to play complementary football and I would love for that to be an every-week thing. I don't expect that, but we're ready. When given the ball in short fields, we need to go get seven points, so that was our mentality."

An added benefit to how the game unfolded for the Vikings offense is there was less for Green Bay's defense to study as they prepared to host the Vikings.

"We specifically talked about that, Diggsy (Stefon Diggs) and Adam (Thielen) and I on the sideline during the second half of the ballgame," Stefanski recalled. "We talked about all the things on that call sheet that we can save and hold for another week. Certainly, as a coach, you want to try all these things and in a game. You'd love to have 100 plays and try all these fun things you've been practicing on, but there is a level of trust in knowing that those plays are good and saved for another day."

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.