New addition to Vikings secondary drawing rave reviews from team

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Xavier Woods
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Xavier Woods /

In his first year with the Minnesota Vikings, safety Xavier Woods has been impressing his new teammates and coaches.

When the new roster additions to this year’s Minnesota Vikings are discussed, Xavier Woods isn’t typically one of the first names mentioned, if he’s mentioned at all.

Despite being a starting safety for the Dallas Cowboys for the last three seasons, Woods’ addition to the Vikings this year has kind of gone under the radar.

The lack of chatter about him probably isn’t going to last much longer as he apparently made the most of his time on the practice field during Minnesota’s recent OTA sessions and minicamp.

Xavier Woods already looking impressive with the Minnesota Vikings

After his performance dipped a bit with the Cowboys last season, Woods is hoping to rebound during the 2021 campaign with the Vikings, and then possibly land a lucrative contract in 2022.

According to some Minnesota coaches and players, it sounds like the 25-year-old safety looked great out on the field during some of the team’s recent practices.

The Vikings released a video on Tuesday of Woods mic’d up during one of the team’s OTA practices, and in the video, the safety is shown talking with new Minnesota senior defensive assistant Paul Guenther.

Woods must have been doing well out on the field that day because this is what Guenther told him when he pulled him aside.

"“I’ve coordinated this [defensive system] for eight years, I’ve been an [NFL] assistant since 2008, and I’ve never seen a guy communicate in his first year [in the system] as good as you.”"

In addition to the Vikings coaches, the former Cowboys safety has been impressing his new teammates in Minnesota as well. On his “All Things Covered” podcast, Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson recently shared some of the things he’s liked about what Woods has done out on the practice field.

"“[Woods has] been really good with us. [He’s] just a seasonal vet. Always going to be where he needs to be, going to make the right checks, going to make the right calls. Just a smooth criminal.”"

Minnesota has to be happy with how well their new safety has looked so far this year. But the true test will come in training camp when the pads are put on.

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If he can continue to get praise in this summer’s training camp and during the preseason, then the Vikings could potentially have one of the top safety duos in the NFL with the combo of Woods and Harrison Smith.