Zimmer helping Vikings defender Hunter refine technique

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter is on the verge of becoming one of the league’s latest star pass rushers, with 18 sacks over his first two seasons . The 6-foot-5, 250-pound product of LSU is a long, fast and strong prototype for his position, with plenty of room left for development.

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Vikings coach Mike Zimmer has been working with Hunter to home in on more consistent placement of his hands on his opponents, to keep his height from working against him. Leg muscles produce more power, for one. Standing straight up also makes a player easier to block.

“There are times when he wants to raise up and start to peek to see what the play is going to be, instead of coming off low and defeating his man,” Zimmer said. “It happens a lot with tall guys.”

Hunter has surpassed 11-year veteran Brian Robison as the every-down player.

“When he first came in here, he was kind of a raw talent,” Robison said. “It was one of those deals where you knew he had a lot of potential, it was just going to be how quick he could grasp the game, but he is a smart kid. He takes notes every day. He goes in there, and you can definitely tell he is applying it on the field. He is understanding situations, understanding different formations that the offense is throwing at him, and he’s being able to recognize those things faster.”