Vikings rookie cornerback likes his new view

  • Article by: KELLY PARSONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 22, 2013 - 7:36 AM

Xavier Rhodes uses his experience playing wide receiver to his advantage playing on the other side of the ball.

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beatmaka03Jun. 21, 1310:21 PM

Early favorite to be the Vikings defensive rookie of the year, could threaten for the league's award, too! What his nickname should be is just too easy -- X-FACTOR -- in a lot of ways, he really is for this year's Vikings team!

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redgrange12Jun. 22, 13 4:02 AM

I like "X-Factor". And I really think he'll do well this season too. Predicting a possible rookie of the year award for the league is a little kool-aid-ish since we haven't even seen him play in pads yet. And I love how the Vikes are all the sudden a very young team. Young guys are hungry guys that want to make their mark in the NFL. You get the most out of them. Tough schedule this year so I'll predict 9-7.

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bruisedupJun. 22, 13 4:49 AM

The Vikings have finally started to invest in young players who can play pass defense in the secondary. This is overdue but greatly appreciated as offenses have been lighting us up in the passing game. The Vikes have been giving up 350 yards a game passing on a regular basis but still we won 10 games last year. If we can get some 3 and outs with our defense because we can shut down the pass we will be a Super Bowl contender because most team's offenses have been living off the pass and will probably continue to do so. We now really have two guys in Rhodes and Cook who have height and size and can play a physical brand of football jamming the wide receivers and playing close coverage. Having that size can also help in stopping the run but other teams are going to have problems developing run games anyway. You can't just get good running backs and think you can run the ball because we're talking about a completely different blocking scheme that the Vikings have already developed. That scheme involves blocking for running targets instead of blocking for a stationary quarterback and you also have to have the right players for that. That type of blocking isn't going to be developed overnight for other teams.

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beatmaka03Jun. 22, 13 7:14 AM

Agreed, bruisedup. I was very high on Mo Claiborne last year, and I don't think I've ever wanted the Vikings to draft a player more than I wanted them to draft him last year. However, Kalil made the most sense and he's on his way to being the best LT in the game. Vikings for years really needed young secondary players who could make plays on the ball while it's in the air, but they seemed to gravitate towards secondary players who made plays after the ball is caught. Finding the ball and making a play on it is certainly a skill Rhodes has, and Harrison Smith has it too. The future is bright for this secondary, although the other safety position is still a concern, and Robinson needs to seize the moment and opportunity he has with Winfield gone. Jury is still out on him. His 4.3 speed didn't really show up during games last year, and his mental game seemed 2-3 steps behind. Confidence is big with him.

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ceo0622Jun. 22, 1310:43 AM

Big fan of Bermans nickname for him. With the first pick they take the Sharif, then they take the Deputy.

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callsaulJun. 22, 1311:14 AM

I absolutely love this team......except at arguably the 2 most important position. Ponder and Henderson inspire no confidence. I know they won a lot of games in spite of Ponder's terribleness last year but I don't know if AP can stay in beast mode forever. I don't like the chances of this team being back in the playoffs unless Cassel can unseat Ponder EXTREMELY early.

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goops24Jun. 22, 13 4:53 PM

Florida State Grad and Vikings fan (from birth). I've seen every game X Rhodes played in. He is a BEAST. Freakish skills. There's a lot of guys in the league - Michael Floyd when he was at ND, Chris Givens of the Rams when he was at Wake, Leonard Hankerson with the Skins who was a Miami Hurricane - and Rhodes shut them all down. In fact, a year ago Givens was asked who the best corner he ever faced was and he said Rhodes. This was when Rhodes was only a Sophomore. He's exactly the type of physical player we need to show an attitude and bully around other team's receivers instead of being bullied by them. Agree that we've been lax to add playmakers to the secondary. While he's not a ballhawk, he's physical at the line and he's stout with the run. He'll be a player at corner, and even he admits one day he'll move to Safety and he'll be nasty there as well.

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kev5115Jun. 22, 13 6:11 PM

This is exciting. With Harrison Smith and if Chris Cook can keep his head screwed on straight this secondary has the potential that the Vikings have ever had.

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burke2Jun. 22, 13 8:57 PM

All of the pieces are coming together for this secondary. Expectations are high. This is Ponder's year to show if he's got what it takes to be a starting QB in the NFL.

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thieleesJun. 23, 13 7:48 AM

My favorite pick of the 2013 Vikes draft. He and H Smith can be anchors in secondary for many years. Now why did you have to bring up winter already??

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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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