Announcement Vote In The NFL All-Division Super Bowl: AFC North vs. NFC North ×

Dec 12, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Derek Cox (22) on the sideline lines in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The San Diego Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Can CB Derek Cox Find His Groove With The Vikings?


One of the most interesting acquisitions in free agency for the Minnesota Vikings was defensive back Derek Cox.

The reason for this interest is because Cox had previous success in the NFL, but saw himself struggle after achieving that success.  It is a low risk situation for Minnesota.  They have only invested $780,000 in Cox as part of a one year “prove it” type contract.  One of the main reasons why the Vikings were able to pick him up so cheap is because of his struggles with the San Diego Chargers.

However, this pickup could prove to be a huge bargain for Minnesota if Derek Cox can play the way he did when he was a rookie in the league.

Here are Derek Cox’s stats his first four years in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars:

  • Oct 6, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Derek Cox (22) during the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 27-17. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    47 games played

  • 45 games started
  • 170 total tackles
  • 12 interceptions
  • 32 passes defended
  • 1 fumble recovery

Cox found himself demoted to special teams duties with the Chargers after failing to impress them throughout the season.  Here are his statistics for his one year with the San Diego Chargers:

  • 16 games played
  • 11 games started
  • 34 tackles
  • 1 interception
  • 7 passes defended

Looking back his rookie year, Derek Cox played well enough to earn quite a few honors.  He was named to the Athlon Sports All Rookie Team and Ourlads Scouting All-Rookie Team.  As an NFL sophomore, he was an alternate for the for the 2010 Pro Bowl.

There is no doubting that Cox has the talent to succeed with the Vikings.  He has a hard-nosed coach in Mike Zimmer to help push him and an aggressive pass rush to help him out.  Cox spoke with ESPN.com’s Ben Goessling about this new chance to shine:

“I view it as a prime opportunity. That’s how you have to approach it every day. This is similar to some defenses I’ve played in before, which helps. It’s pretty much left, right; man, zone principles. I play a ton of press coverage. With my size, my arm length, it’s an advantage. It plays to my skill set.”

Derek Cox went on to explain some of the struggles he had in San Diego:

Oct 20, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; San Diego Chargers cornerback Derek Cox (22) catches a pass before the start of their game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

“Cornerbacks could travel across the ball, running with motion, and you’d be in a zone coverage. Turned you into a nickel back, you’d be in a base  and run to other side in zone coverage, you’d turn into the nickel.”

New Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer sounds really excited about working with Derek Cox.  Here’s what Zimmer had to say about him after OTAs:

“He is a smart guy. He’s got good size,” Zimmer said. “He’s catching on to the defense we’re trying to teach, and really, he’s been getting better every single day that we’ve had him.”

Minnesota may have to rely on Derek Cox this year.  The Vikings have a lack of depth at cornerback this year, so he should get every opportunity to prove himself.  The only question that remains is if he can actually return to Pro-Bowl type form and earn a regular spot in the defense.

Tags: Derek Cox Featured Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings Popular

  • D.J. Asmus

    Skol Derek Cox!! Welcome to MN!

  • David Mallow

    Cox will be the starter opposite Rhodes when the season begins,if Robinson, Prater, or even James doesn’t push and get it.. Robinson was good there before being put in the shot where he never played before..coach also really likes Prater (who he also coached in Cincy).imo, it’s gonna be a really good defensive backfield, add in Smith and Exum/Coleman behind them,and we could be a top 10 unit in year one..

    • holymomentumbatman#84

      Don’t forget Captain. He’ll be in that slot in nickel packages, and maybe other schemes as well. This defensive backfield shapes up to be much better in 2014, especially considering (A) new personnel, (B) coach(es) involved, and (C) Chris Cook is GONE!! SKOL VIKINGS

  • Bob T

    This is a big one.I still think the Vikes are a bit weak here. At 6’1 Derek must be able to cover. If they utilize Barr in a 4-3 under on 3rd and long, Derek has to cover his man. Also when Captain plays slot in the nickle. I hope he shows his skills and starts.I wish him the very best and think he will make 53 man roster. SKOL VIKINGS