Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes appreciates Zimmer criticism

Minnesota Vikings star cornerback Xavier Rhodes took an honest assessment of his 2018 play after getting called out by coach Mike Zimmer this offseason.

"There were mistakes I need to work on and plays I felt like I could have come out on top of that I didn't," Rhodes said Wednesday about his inconsistent play, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

During the NFL's Annual League Meeting in March, Zimmer criticized the corner's play last season.

"I just don't think he played as well as he can play," Zimmer said at the time. "He needs to play up to his ability level. We're paying him a lot of money. He needs to play up to that contract."

On Wednesday, the corner, who was named a Pro Bower in 2016 and 2017 and first-team All-Pro in 2017, said he took the reproach to heart.

"Me and him spoke on that," Rhodes said of Zimmer's remarks. "I mean, we had a bad year as a whole team, so everybody was messing up. We all need to come together as a team and correct our mistakes. I was one of those guys being a leader on the team, not making as many plays as I did in previous years."

Rhodes noted he "did gamble" too often and played "out of character" at times overthinking last season. The 28-year-old appreciated the tough love from Zimmer.

"We appreciate him being hard on us, being tough on us," Rhodes said. "He only wants greatness out of us."

If the Vikings are to get back to the playoffs, they'll need greatness out of Rhodes and the rest of the highly paid players on the roster in 2019.