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#pounditWednesday, December 6, 2023

New Vikings coach offers strong take on Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins drops back to pass

The Minnesota Vikings made a major change this offseason when they fired head coach Mike Zimmer, but all indications are they will stick with the same quarterback.

New Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was asked on Wednesday if Kirk Cousins is his quarterback. He heaped praise on the veteran and had a very straightforward response.

“Kirk is our quarterback,” O’Connell said. “I’m excited about that. I’m excited about building an offense for him. I obviously have some experience with him. He’s a really good player, in my mind, for a lot of reasons. The one thing is I think he’s an elite passer. I think he throws the football at a really high level and he’s always been like that. Being a naturally accurate quarterback is something I feel is the No. 1 requirement for playing in this league. Especially with the playmakers we have, I’m excited about Kirk Cousins.”

As O’Connell mentioned, he and Cousins have a history. O’Connell was the quarterbacks coach in Washington when Cousins played there in 2017. The coach is very familiar with Cousins’ strengths, and the Vikings hired O’Connell in part because they want to get the most out of their quarterback.

Cousins has a reputation for being a good quarterback who never seems to be good enough. He threw for 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns and just seven interceptions last season, but Minnesota finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs.

New information surfaced this week about just how frustrated Zimmer was with Cousins’ play. O’Connell seems to feel a lot differently about the three-time Pro Bowler.

Photo: Nov 14, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) sets to throw a pass in the first half against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


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