During Tuesday’s coaches morning meal at the yearly NFL owners meetings in Phoenix, Zimmer expressed disappointment in the manner Rhodes completed last season and entrusted functioning with the prior first-round pick to help him rebound in 2019.
“Xavier needs to play better,” Zimmer said. “He needs to play better. I’m going to be certain that he plays better because those guys are crucial within our defense and that which we do. That is likely to be part of it. It’s partially my job to be certain that he plays better, and I’m likely to.”
His 2018 was soured with means of a series of nagging injuries along with one of those worst statistical seasons of his career. Rhodes was hit with nine penalties and allowed that the highest completion percent of his career (65.2) and the second-highest passer rating (88.4) into his policy, in accordance with Pro Football Focus.
Zimmer, who’s coached Rhodes since 2014, elaborated that the cornerback’s drama did not mean the level he has reached in previous years or so the total amount that the team is paying him.
“I just don’t think he played as well as he will play and he needs to play to his skill grade and I need to be sure he does this,” Zimmer said. “We’re paying him a lot of money, he needs to fulfill this contract.”
The collection of foot and groin injuries Rhodes fought through in 2018 limited him to 14 games. The corner-back admitted to possibly”overdoing it, over-working my body” at the finish of the Vikings’ 8-7-1 season and credited his health problems into wanting to get back onto the field too quickly.
The corner back, that will be 29 this season, defended seven passes and notched an interception in 2018. While Rhodes is coming an era where some cornerbacks believe it is difficult to keep the speed and athleticism required to track elite receivers, Zimmer said he does not see that as a problem.
“He hasn’t lost rate he hasn’t lost athletic skill, he has kind of gotten out from his technique a little bit and we’re likely to get back into it,” Zimmer said.
“Yeah, I think we have some great corners,” he said. “I presume Mike Hughes is going to be a excellent player. It was really unfortunate that he got hurt. Holton Hill has the opportunity to be a excellent player. We’re going to keep looking for corners because they get hurt and it is essential in our defense that we ask them to. I presume Mackensie [Alexander] played last year than he has played his 36 months that he has been here and helped us alot with all the things we perform. The nickelback position, those guys play 700-800 plays a game today. That was so good that he played well.”