View Full Version : Second Time Around - Dustin Fox

08-17-2006, 09:01 AM
Author: Ryan White
It's been just over a year to the date since cornerback Dustin Fox made his first trip to Mankato for the annual Vikings training camp -- a trip that he would prefer to forget but is anxious to try again. Fox, who was drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft, saw his first season in the NFL come to an end about as quick as it began. Fox was injured during a practice session and was placed on the Injured Reserve with a broken arm.

A year later, Fox is back at it again, preparing for the start of the season. While he is technically a second-year veteran, Fox feels more like one of the rookies. "It definitely feels like being a rookie again," said Fox. "My season ended (last year) before it even started. It just feels good to make it through and get back to where I'm at now."

Fox, who played cornerback for Ohio State in college, was drafted to play safety before the injury ended his rookie campaign. He has flip-flopped between the two positions for most of his football career. This season, he will make the transition back to cornerback. The position that Fox says he is more comfortable playing.

"I'm excited to be back there, it almost feels like I'm at home now," said Fox. "I haven't done it in about a year and a half. It's been a long time and it feels awesome."

Fortunately for Fox, he has the opportunity to start fresh and learn a new defensive scheme that first-year Defensive Coordinator Mike Tomlin is installing. "It's similar to the defense I played in college," Fox said of the Tampa 2 defense. "I like it, especially for a corner who wants to be physical. It's a good defense for me."

Although Tomlin believes Fox has some things schematically that need to be worked on during camp and the scheduled preseason games, he does see progression in the second-year DB. "Dustin (Fox) has high football character. He's a very talented guy," said Tomlin. "He is an attention to detail guy and he comes ready to work every single day."

Fox's return will bolster what is a very young, but talented group of cornerbacks with just three of the eight cornerbacks on the roster having more than five years of experience in the league. Antoine Winfield, who led all defensive backs in tackles last year (100), has logged the most time of the group with eight years of NFL experience.

"He (Fox) definitely adds depth to our secondary," said Winfield. "He's a great athlete and I think he fits in pretty good."

Fox figures to serve as a backup at cornerback, but should log plenty of playing time on all phases of special teams and gain valuable experience. "I know they want him to contribute on special teams because of the fact that he has speed and good size, said Vikings Pro Bowl Safety Darren Sharper. "That's a position that he's definitely going to have to take full-bore and try to make a name for himself on the special teams in the preseason."

With his first preseason game under his belt, Fox will continue to battle for a spot on the final 53-man roster as training camp winds down. "I just show up every day and try to get better -- find my niche," said Fox. "I'm just trying to fit in wherever I can. Wherever that may be I'm ready to do it."

08-17-2006, 11:51 AM
good to have him back, i was dissapointed we didnt get to see what he was made out of last year =

08-18-2006, 06:13 AM
I forgot about him.
Saw him play in college and liked what I saw.
Hope he keeps the good attitude and tears up the field.