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Xavier Rhodes, 3x Pro Bowl Defensive Back

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
May 2, 2023 9:11 pm

Xavier Rhodes, 3x Pro Bowl Defensive Back

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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May 2, 2023 9:11 pm

Xavier Rhodes joined Zach to discuss if he believes Kirk Cousins can lead the Vikings to a Super Bowl this season and the toughest wide receiver he ever had to face. 

Zach Gelb Show
Zach Gelb

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Offer valid for a limited time, $10 minimum per order, additional terms apply. We continue, this is at Gelb Show Coast to Coast on CBS Sports Radio. Larsa Pippen, Marcus Jordan are hosting the WUSHI World and Celebrity Sports Entertainment Charity Basketball Game. Coming up tomorrow, May 3rd, doors open at 6 p.m. Eastern at FLA Live Arena. Benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation and participating in the game is NFL cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who's kind enough to join us right now, the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback.

Xavier, it's Zach Gelb. Appreciate the time. How are you? I'm doing great, man. Appreciate you having me on, but I'm doing awesome. Thanks for having me.

Well, thanks so much for coming on. So, we just got back from the draft in Kansas City. I want to take you back to 2013, when you were in the green room and you heard your name called by the Minnesota Vikings, 25th overall pick. What do you remember about that day? Oh, man. So, it was crazy, man.

It was a wild experience. Also, I'm thankful for the experience, but beforehand, you know, you hear a lot going on before you get to the draft about where you're going to get picked up, what teams interested in you. So, I heard at first I was the top 15 pick going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That was the word. And then, so when I land in NYC, I see they draft for Darryl Reavitt. So, I say, well, X that out.

I'm not going there. So, and then I go and also I was at the 20th pick. It was Chicago Bears. They actually reached out to my agent and said, hey, we're picking up Xavier. So, I think they picked up a D lineman. And then here we go, 25th pick.

Minnesota Vikings. I was out of that green room heading to the media row and taking the next flight to Minnesota to talk to Leslie Frazier. So, it was a great feeling, man.

It was a blessing in disguise. And at first, you know, I took that experience and then looked at the guys in front of me and made sure I played harder and played better than them guys. Well, no one wants to be in the green room and not go in the first round. When it was getting into the 20s, were you nervous you were going to slip out of the first round? Man, I was nervous. I was shaking, you know, I was, you know, biting my nails.

I didn't know what was going on. And that's the, that's the crazy part about the draft. You know, you don't know.

You know, you have a good idea. But once it gets to that number, you thought you was going to get drafted at and then go past that. Your mind just start wandering off. You know, you just start thinking like, hey, if I'm going to get drafted first round, it's just going to be something. It's going to be a history saying Xavier Rose thought he was going to be the first round.

Now he's dropped in the second and third. So that's, I mean, sorry to those guys that actually happened to him. But you know, that that feeling is not good. So, you were surprised that you were you lasted that long and that you ended up going to Minnesota, it sounds like? Yes, I like I said, it was a blessing in disguise, you know, but I thought I was actually going to either go to Chicago or I was going to go to Tampa Bay. So I was pretty surprised. And also Leslie Leslie Frazier was surprised. He actually told me so I was surprised you was that you was that up for us to pick you up.

How about that? Xavier Rhodes here with us at the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. I know you bounced around this year with Buffalo and Dallas. Are you planning on playing football this year? Of course, man. I mean, it's always gonna be in you. I've been playing this game for all my life, and I'm always gonna be in shape and ready to go. So yeah, definitely.

Of course. How do you look at your career so far? Because you've been in the NFL, like we said, since 2013, Minnesota, Indianapolis last year, Buffalo and Dallas, you've made the Pro Bowl three times, you were first team all pro in 2017. How do you kind of reflect on this journey so far? I think I accomplished a lot individually for myself as a team, you know, I wanted to get that Super Bowl.

So I think my career is not over yet. I'm trying to get that confetti drop on me on that field for one time. I was close, you know, but I got knocked off by the Eagles.

So in the NFC Championship game, so I mean, I'm still trying to get that ring, you know, so I mean, once I get it, I'm gonna steal it, and that's probably gonna be it for me. And that was some run you guys did go on in Minnesota that year. Unfortunately, for you guys, it ended in Philadelphia, like you were talking about. But in that run, everyone remembers that Minneapolis Miracle play. How did you kind of look back on that one? And what are the memories that come to mind during that? Oh, that's a memory my family and I are gonna forever remember, man, that's something that's happened once in a lifetime, you know, an experience that many other ball players don't actually experience unless they win the Super Bowl or something or, you know, something of 50 or 50, 65 yards kick field goal or something. But actually being that moment to think the game is over, you got to leave, your season is over, thinking exit meeting once you're gonna tell your position coach, and then come up with Stephon Diggs to catch that ball and take it to the house. And I mean, it's so real, man, you can only say but a few words about that moment.

You just have to be there to fill it. You know, and at that moment to this day, still give me chills when I talk about it, because it's a moment that I never thought I'd be in or ever experienced. Xavier Rhodes here with us. I know you were in Minnesota a little bit with Kirk Cousins. Do you think he could win a Super Bowl in this league? Because the Vikings have a team that's pretty good, I think. Man, they have a team, man. They have a great team. I mean, Kirk Cousins has always put up the numbers, always did things right.

I mean, God for him, man. I mean, like I say, each and every year they get better. Each and every year his throws and everything, his decision-making is getting better. So I believe this year alone is going to be a great year, especially when the receiver gets drafted. That's going to help Justin Jefferson out a lot more.

And so I think an endowment coming out the backfield is going to be a blessing in disguise, you know, because as you see, they're starting to pass the ball a lot more, but as time goes on, that's going to balance each other out without them coming out the backfield, catching the ball out of the backfield and actually running the ball. So I think they got a good chance of making it this year. But do you believe in Kirk? Because I heard that laugh early on. It makes me think that you don't believe in Kirk. Oh, I believe in Kirk. Just some memories I had with him.

That's all that laugh was about. The memories I had being there with him, you know, sometimes, you know, walking and coming to the facility, seeing Kirk drive that old, beat-up caravan he had. You know, you're like, Kirk, you're making all this money. You're driving a 1976 Ford caravan.

Man, what you doing? And he got all his, he had all his, I think his sponsors stamped on the van. It was, it was, it was a crazy experience. You always made fun of him when he did, when he put in that van. And the chains he put on this year on the flight, on the flight back, I thought were great. Yeah, it was great. I didn't think, when I was there, that wasn't Kirk. The fact that he opened up like that shows you the camaraderie and the trust he had with his guys and the coaching staff.

He was actually comfortable enough to be himself. And as you know, you know, when I was there, we had Zim. Zim was really a tough guy. You know, it's a hard coach. You'll love him, but man, he had coached you hard. Like, you want nothing but greatness out of you. And push you, and push you.

Even if you were great, he's still going to push you to your limit. It feels like that style with Coach Mike Zimmer, you could only put up with it for so long. And eventually, that's why they had to make a change in Minnesota and bringing Kevin O'Connor a little bit more of a player-friendly coach.

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I mean, the style of play has changed over the years, as you see. I mean, everything about football is starting to change.

So, I mean, two tickets on, two fares on. You know, I think Zim is going to get another opportunity because he is a great coach. Honestly, even through I believe, you know, how he came in and took over Minnesota and changed up the whole defense and the whole team and took us, like I said, to the NFT championship game, almost close to the Super Bowl and being the number one defense for multiple years with him.

I mean, being under that defense with him, I believe he's going to get another chance. Xavier Rhodes here with us. I know you're a corner, but I was looking back at the pick six for 100 yards that you had up against the Cardinals right before we brought you on. How the heck were you not out of breath after that? Because you were running there on the field after that celebrating with your teammates.

That was impressive. Honestly, the first thing came to mind was John Brown. I mean, John Brown was from Miami and we know of each other. We played each other in high school once and for. And he almost ran me down to high school on the kickoff return I ran back in high school. But knowing he was on the field, it was a good chance he was going to come get me. So the only thing I was looking at is the end zone and looking at the jumbotron to see how close he was coming to get me.

So I had to take off. Who are some of the toughest wide receivers you ever had to go up against? I know being in the north, definitely Calvin Johnson probably had to be 100 percent. I mean, it's been played.

It's played that he made that I only believe to this day. I believe he only can make, you know, I mean, I went against Dez Bryant one on one. I want to get Antonio Brown, Odell, Hopkins. Man, so many, so many guys I went against one on one and and it was a great battle with those guys. You know, that's how you know where you at in your career when you can actually have your coaches and your teammates trust you to be one on one with those guys and believe that you can do what you need to do to help to win the game.

You know, that was a great time to be a Viking and a great time to be on that team. Would you ever talk smack to Calvin Johnson or was it like, all right, I don't want to await that sleeping giant? Man, you know, I try once. Actually, I did try once. I want to try it out because people always tell me Calvin don't talk like he really don't say a word on the field.

He just makes plays and throw the ball, spin the ball and walk off. So I try to say, when I say Calvin, man, you ain't nothing. Why they call you Megatron? You ain't transforming. And then he looked at me funny and turned his head and walked off.

I said, yep, I tried and it ain't working. So after that, I didn't say anything else to that. Xavier Rhodes here with us. So you were in Buffalo for a little bit last year. Last year, it didn't go their way. It was a Super Bowl or bus type of season for them. How close do you think the Bills are from winning it all?

Man, them guys are close. McDermott is a great coach, man. He's a player coach. I told McDermott the way he's running his team is awesome, team oriented. And the way he built his team together and how they come together as one, it's unseen, unheard. I've been around some teams. I've been around great teams and I've been around great coaches, but to see a different way of coaching and how the players actually buy into it, man, it was awesome to see. I mean, I think they have a chance every year. Honestly, believe it, the way he handled it and the way he handled things over there in Buffalo and the way the players just give it their all and work hard out there. The whole coaching staff, I would say the whole staff, whole everything out there, it's just unbelievable.

And I see why they went each and every year now. Did you get a lot of chicken wings when you were at Buffalo? Oh, man, I did. I had too many chicken wings. I had to stop. They had to put me on a limb.

I was gaining too much weight out there. Those wings had me flying. So I'm buddies with Dion Dawkins and Tyler Metikevich. I actually went to school with them both at Temple and they took me to Bar Bill. Those wings are no joke in Buffalo.

No joke. You know, Dion was just on, what it is, the celebrity corn hole. Corn hole, yeah. Man, corn hole. Listen, corn hole is the game them boys play when we on break. They on corn hole. It's like a long line at Buffalo Bills. Them guys, I'm talking about literally everybody on that team plays corn hole. Yes. They in there going at it.

You lose. We talking smack to you all day to the next day until we play a game. Like I say, the team there is just unbelievable, man.

Everything they do there is team oriented, like dinner, events, whatever they doing, they all coming together and they all being as one. You were in the same defensive back room this year, Xavier Rhodes, with DeMar Hamlin. I saw two weeks ago that he was cleared to continue his football journey and cleared to play. When you heard that, just what came to mind? Oh man, blessing. That's the blessing from God to come back to something like that and still come back and feel like you needed to play and play out what you believe is still calling me.

I don't know, man. I give my hat off to him, man, because at that moment during that time, it was hard to even see. It was hard to even digest.

You couldn't fathom and imagine your brother going through that and in that sport and him to go back and have the courage to go back and play, man, tell you what type of player he is, tell you how devoted he is to the game, tell you how devoted he is to his coaches, his teammates and everyone, because he felt bad that he couldn't, to me, honestly, he really wanted us to go out there and finish playing that game for him, you know, and it's hard to hear that, man. It was like, man, yeah, it's just, yeah, he loved this game. It really is surreal that we could talk about this story now in a positive way, because I remember we were live on the air when that happened and that was one of the scariest things I've ever seen on a football field. Man, yes, it was. Like, you were speechless. Like, you were, at first, you didn't know what was going on, what happened. You just seen drop, I ain't gonna get into details, but you can see that happen and then you can literally hear a pin drop, like, and it was, how many, how many, the Bengal Stadium whole fans?

I believe over 70, I don't know, but literally everyone in that stadium was quiet. Never, yeah, it was unheard of and I'm like, man, this is real. Like, you couldn't really believe what you were saying and, like I say, for him to get up and still have the courage to play this game, man, he, man, I cut my head off to him, man. He's a soldier, for real. He's a really good soldier. He's a leader and, man, I love him for this.

I love him for what he's doing. Wrapping up with Xavier Rhodes. So, you're teaming up to be a part of this celebrity basketball game. Larsa Pippen, Marcus Jordan are hosting the WUSHI World and Celebrity Sports Entertainment Charity Basketball Game tomorrow.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Eastern at FALA Live Arena, benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tell me what you're doing coming up tomorrow. I'm coaching. I don't want to go out there and hoop and embarrass nobody. So, I'm just going ahead and coach people. I ain't trying to criss-cross hot sauce nobody quick, you know, so I'm just going to go out there and just tell them what to do, tell them to play, you know, and now I'm playing. I can't play basketball. It saved my life.

That's amazing. Would you ever want to coach football whenever you hang up your cleats and you say that the journey's over? Do you want to go into coaching? I was thinking about, I'm thinking a lot of people, a lot of my teammates and some coaches ask me, did I think about what I think about coaching or do broadcasting or I don't know.

I don't know, you know. Only reason I say I don't know right now is because I've devoted so much of my life and my time to the game and I believe right now I have to like take a break from it because sometimes when I'm coming home from watching, from being from the facility, I don't just put my film down. I don't just don't relax. I literally put in more hours and watching film and watching my craft and watching my opponent. So my, my, my meter and my time up from ball is never off, even in an offshoot. And I probably take two, three weeks off and I'm back into it.

So it's, it's just off. You know, just my time when it's time for me to settle down, probably sit down for a year or two. And then I think about getting back into it. I don't know yet. I can't answer that question for you right now.

Last thing I want to ask you. I know you were briefly with the Cowboys last year and the last two seasons, their defense late has been playing really well. And the offense just hasn't been able to close out those games. I wonder what that locker room dynamic is like because when the defense plays well in the offense, doesn't you wonder about if there's at all a disconnect?

No, there's no disconnect. They got dogs on the defense. They got some dogs on the defense. One thing I want to, I want, I want to shout out my man house, man. He, he, I had a lot of sit down. I sat down with him multiple times and we talked, you know, he was a vet and the guy, I think he played what, 15, 16 years or something like that.

Probably longer. I don't want to, I don't want to pick no years off him, but to sit there and pick his brain and hear him talk about how to take the ball away and how to reach certain route concepts. And the way he takes it, his guys, man, it's the way you learn, how's you going on your own. But to have someone like him in your room to tell you these pointers as a young guy, man, he's the sky's the limit for them. That, especially that, that, that defense, the background, you know, cause he literally tell us this game. He literally tell us everything we need to know how to take that ball away, how to return the route concept and to, to have that in your room is unbelievable.

So I think it was going to be great. Well, I really enjoyed the conversation today, Xavier Rhodes. Thanks so much for doing this. Be well and good luck coaching tomorrow night. All right. All right. Thank you. Have a go.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-02 22:55:26 / 2023-05-02 23:03:55 / 8

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