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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings coaches wouldn’t let Beckham-Rhodes jawing escalate out of hand

By Derek Wetmore

MINNEAPOLIS – Tensions were flying high during the second half of Monday Night Football. So high, in fact, that a few Giants players took exception and got physical as Sam Bradford was taking his final kneel down to wind down the clock in Minnesota’s 24-10 win.

Bradford admitted he was a little surprised to see the tensions bubble to the surface, even after the earlier jawing match between Vikings corner Xavier Rhodes and Giants mercurial wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

The Vikings had Rhodes shadowing Beckham at times Monday, and it was the corner’s second impressive game after returning from injury. Last week he limited Carolina’s top target Kelvin Benjamin to one target.

On one play, Rhodes tackled Beckham near the out-of-bounds line, and Beckham seemed to take exception to it. As he got up and returned to the huddle, he had a few words for Rhodes – and probably not all of them nice.

Things escalated in the next few plays, and the situation seemed primed to erupt when the two met again at the end of a play. But before Rhodes could engage – and it certainly looked like he was willing – defensive backs coach Jerry Gray may have saved the day by bear-hugging his corner and pulling Rhodes back to the sideline for a cool-down break.

Several people wearing purple on the sideline tried to console Rhodes with something as simple as a pat on the back or a fist bump, and Rhodes angrily brushed them off.

“Stay composed. Keep your composure,” Gray told Rhodes at the time.

Rhodes said that Gray told him to not “let that get the best of me, and stay on my game.”

Mike Zimmer would have none of it. He’s a no-nonsense head coach and his players have learned by now that he wouldn’t tolerate the extra-curriculars, he said.

“I only worry about my players,” Zimmer said, coyly. “I don’t care about the other team’s players. [My players] know when I come over and talk to them that it’s time to chill out.”

Rhodes after the game called Beckham a great receiver, and said he’s a “very aggressive and passionate player.”

Beckham, for his part, said he’s got a target on his back. That jawing match that seemed to start the whole thing drew a penalty for the receiver with a bit of a track record for these kinds of incidents. You can understand why referees would watch him closely; and you could understand why he’d be upset with Monday’s call that went against him. He caught just three passes for a career-low 23 yards Monday.

“It’s always, it’s just my fault,” Beckham said after the game. “That’s all I look at it as, it’s my fault. Whatever you want to call it. I just have to understand if I sneeze the wrong way, it’ll be a flag, it’ll be a fine. If I tie my shoe the wrong way, it might be a fine or a flag. It is what it is. You have to understand that.”

“The refs are looking to call anything, and they’re not looking to call anything the other way,” Beckham said. “You have to know that, you have to know that, you have to be OK with it. Unfortunately you have to be OK with it, but that’s just the position I’m in.”

The post Vikings coaches wouldn’t let Beckham-Rhodes jawing escalate out of hand appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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