Minnesota Vikings QB Shaun Hill thriving vs. blitz

Shaun Hill is showing what veteran savvy can do against the blitz in preseason action.

If the Minnesota Vikings’ offensive line is going to be tested with the blitz, veteran backup Shaun Hill has proved he can handle it.

Hill, who didn’t practice on Saturday and didn’t participate in any full-team drills on Sunday with his left wrist wrapped, performed well – especially against the blitz – in his first two preseason games.

On the whole, Hill has completed 16 of 24 passes for 181 yards and an 89 passer rating in the preseason, but he has been especially good when blitzed in his two preseason games to date.

In the preseason opener, Hill quarterbacked only three drives and was blitzed only once, sending a quick-hitting completion to rookie Laquon Treadwell for 7 yards on second-and-9, and the Vikings converted the first down with a pass on the next play.

Getting the start against the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday night with Teddy Bridgewater held out, Hill was tested more often against the blitz and performed perfectly. He completed all five of his passes for 70 yards when the Seahawks sent an extra pass rusher.

“I felt they’ve done good,” head coach Mike Zimmer said of his top two backups available so far this preseason, Hill and Joel Stave. “I thought Shaun played well the other night and I thought Stave in the two ballgames he’s done a good job.”

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Two of Hill’s longest completions came against the blitz and both of them went to TE Kyle Rudolph. On the Vikings’ fourth drive in Seattle, Hill was facing second-and-9 with three wide receivers on the field. Instead, he felt the pressure and lofted pass down the sideline for Rudolph, who used his long reach to haul in the touch pass for a 22-yard gain.

On the next drive, Hill was facing first-and-11 and again had three receivers on the field. This time, Hill step up in the pocket and found Rudolph open deep down the middle of the field with LB Bobby Wagner trailing in coverage. He got the 32-yard completion, along with a rough-the-passer penalty on a late hit from Jarran Reed. It set up the Vikings in the red zone and they capitalized five plays later when Jerick McKinnon scored on a 1-yard run.

In his 15th season, Hill has talked often to younger quarterbacks about “situational stuff,” according to Zimmer, but Hill is showing he still has the potential to be more than a mentor if needed.

While his overall passer rating this preseason is 89, against the blitz he has a 118.75 rating, 77 yards and no incompletions.

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