Things went south in a hurry for cornerback Xavier Rhodes over the last couple of years as he went from signing a five-year contract in 2017 to being released by the Vikings in March.
Rhodes signed a one-year deal with the Colts later in the month and called the rapid change in Minnesota a “reality check” as he prepares to move forward with his new team. Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, who coached Rhodes at the 2013 Pro Bowl, thinks that change has also left a chip on Rhodes’ shoulder that the staff in Indianapolis thinks is a positive.
“I just fell in love with him in terms of his work patterns,” Eberflus said on a Monday conference call. “I was just amazed how the guy could move, how big he is. The guy looks like a big safety and he’s playing corner. He’s a physical, really good tackler. He’s played at a Pro Bowl level and we are excited to get him back to that point. . . . We are excited about where he is. I know we feel that. I know Chris has said this as well, but we feel he has a chip on his shoulder in lieu of the circumstances and we are excited about that.”
Eberflus isn’t the only coach who has worked with Rhodes in the past. Cornerbacks coach Jonathan Gannon and safeties coach Alan Williams both worked in Minnesota and Eberflus said the team “feels great” about the effect that can have on helping Rhodes’ attempt to get back on track.