Dalvin Cook's aggressive attack on rehabbing his surgically repaired knee has paid off for the second-year running back.
The 2017 second-round selection has looked smooth and shown nice cut-and-burst through his first two days of training camp practices.
Cook also was cool and composed at the podium and other media sessions.
He participated in a **Q&A with Andrew Krammer** of the Star Tribune and explained his rehab process in Florida, as well as a couple of interesting moments for when he wasn't grinding.
Q: How do you take your mind off football?
A: "Family. We're real family-oriented. We do a lot of stuff. I had a wedding this offseason. My oldest brother just got married. I did that and really just spent time with the youth. I was the best man, too. I had to give a speech. [Nervous?] I wasn't nervous, because I knew it had to all come from the heart. Like, we had so many good memories. It just rolled off my head."
Q: How do you stay busy around Miami?
A: "When we were back home, it was football season coming up. So the little league was practicing and stuff, so I go out there and work out so the kids can see me work out. Just so they can see my face. One of my best friends, he's the head coach on the football team. I try to go back and give back. Try to give tips, because he thinks he's a real offensive coordinator. I try to help him out, man. [What team?] He coaches for the Carol City Chiefs — youth football. They're pretty good, man."
"Like his little brother"
After becoming one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Xavier Rhodes has become more comfortable in a mentorship role for younger players.
First-round pick Mike Hughes and undrafted rookie Holton Hill have been able to draw lessons from Rhodes.
The Athletic's Chad Graff caught up with Hill, who has been **pleasantly surprised** by the way Rhodes has helped.
Inside the defensive backs meeting room with his first full-squad training camp session under his belt, Holton Hill took a breath, finally done after a long day of work. But Xavier Rhodes had other ideas.
As players relaxed and watched video from Saturday's practice, Rhodes pulled Hill to the side.
He started moving his feet to imitate what Hill had done wrong that practice, then showed what he was actually supposed to do. He went over tips for dissecting plays by formation and tidbits for being in the proper position. All the while, Hill looked on, not stunned, he said, but at least a bit surprised.
Hill told Graff:
"I kind of was not necessarily shocked, but just blessed and thankful that he's taking the time out to help me develop and help me along the way," Hill said. "He's not treating me like any other player or any other rookie. He's kind of treating me like his little brother."