Aaron Rodgers says this Vikings defender is the most “frustrating to play against”
On this week’s episode of my podcast ‘Morning Joes’ I mentioned that I think we as Minnesota Vikings fans don’t really appreciate how good Harrison Smith is.
We were discussing the two deep safety looks (and the disguised coverages, etc.) that have seemingly stymied MVP and Hall of Fame caliber quarterbacks this season.
From Russell Wilson to Matthew Stafford, head coach Mike Zimmer and company have changed how they typically do business to emphasize their strengths and support their weaknesses out of necessity, clearly, but it’s Smith (and his cohort Anthony Harris) that make a lot of that possible.
Case in point Aaron Rodgers’ most recent game against these Vikings. It was night and day from the Week 1 debacle in which Rodgers was able to exploit the above-referenced weaknesses. That lead to a time of possession differential that’d be funny if it wasn’t so horrifying at the time.
Rodgers is known for picking on young corners, and so considering that the Vikings were even less experienced and thin at the position after the bye? It had to be frustrating for Rodgers.
Or rather, Smith had to be.
Rodgers recently discussed as much during his weekly appearance on the Pat McAfee Show during a segment regarding eye discipline as a quarterback. You can view it here.
Of Smith he said:
“He’s the most frustrating guy I play against with his disguises, because he does so many different things from the line of scrimmage — blitz, play the curl flat in a two-invert, run back and play quarter safety, run back and play the half, run back and play the middle-field third. It’s a little maddening sometimes with what they do.”
That’s HUGE praise from a guy who also recently said he thought it was “crazy” that Zimmer was (temporarily) thought to be on or bound for the dreaded hot seat.
This quote was picked up by other outlets who mostly focused on the Smith comment, but it’s clear that Rodgers also means Zimmer and his ever-evolving scheme.
Zimmer has a reputation for being old school and thus stuck in his ways but I think that if anything we can thank Rodgers for reminding us that this team is in good hands now and for the future.
It’s also just fun to know that Rodgers gets the most frustrated by our squad (on the field I mean, as I’m sure he gets more frustrated every time reruns of ‘The Bachelor’ show up in his recommendations on Hulu) as he still is the most punchable player in NFL history.
Quick aside; is it just me or does it feel like Rodgers is priming the Vikings for his eventual Favre-like Packers exodus? I’m (mostly) kidding, but, could you imagine if the Vikings also landed Rodgers?
I just want it for the jersey, as I’m sure Rodgers’ torso full of bird bones would turn to dust the second he arrives in Eagan.
Anyway, in conclusion, Harrison Smith is good at football and we were wrong about Zimmer. Second aside; imagine if Zimmer believed in the importance of an offensive line when building a team?
He’d be the Harrison Smith of NFL head coaches. Instead, he’s like Aaron Rodgers’ collarbones. (T)he(y) collapse(s) when the pressure is too much because he has no underlying depth or support upfront.