Kirk Cousins’ initial year in Minnesota after registering a fully guaranteed $84 million contract with the Vikings did not cover off by any stretch.
The quarterback hit many livelihood private drops in 2018 — completions (425), attempts (606), comp. Percentage (70.1) and passing TDs (30) — although the Vikings were horribly average (8-7-1) and Cousins, though sexy in spurts, watched his creation slow down the stretch.
Cousins is well aware of his perceived flaws when it matters most and informed reporters Wednesday on the second evening of Vikings mandatory minicamp he is intent of shooting his match and, by virtue, his staff to another level.
“I think another level, really, is all about winning,” Cousins said. “I’m pretty much a .500 quarterback in my career so far and I don’t think that is where you wish to be, and that’s why you’re attracted in or individuals or excited about you.
“If I do not play well, if I do not have gaudy statistics but we win several playoff games this year, the storyline will be I moved to another level and I might not walk off the area everyday feeling like I did but when we win, that is the lifetime of a quarterback is you’re in the following level. When I have my best year yet in 2019 but we’re 8-8, I didn’t go into the next level. That is the reality of this ”
Cousins is really below average as a starter; his teams possess a 34-37-2 record from the 73 games where he’s started. The more damning statistic for the 84 million man is that, however: zero playoff victories.
The signal-caller was designed to remedy that in 2018, linking a piled Vikings squad a year prior had made the NFC title game with journeyman Case Keenum under center. Instead, Minnesota got off to 1-2-1 start and never got over two matches over .500.
In a win-and-you’re-in finale at home against the Chicago Bears, Cousins and the Vikings laid a handsome egg. Cousins threw for only 132 passing yards and one score on 33 efforts as Minnesota dropped to Chicago by 2 touchdowns.
From the offseason, Minnesota revived its coaching staff, adding former Broncos coach Gary Kubiak as an offensive adviser to pair offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who took over in December after first-year Vikes OC John DeFilippo was terminated.
Not much is different with Stefanski in charge and Kubiak in the construction, except for a few terminology. Nevertheless, the new Vikings offensive coordinator feels Cousins will thrive more this season because of his comfortability at the new locale.
“Having one year under his belt round his teammates is a huge deal and there’s so much that goes into understanding the nuances of each one of your receivers along with your tight ends and knowing how they come out of routes,” Stefanski said. “This was something that we definitely tried to hasten the process last year. There is just so much you can do this. I think it’s really helpful that he walks out with this practice area and has an inventory of knowledge of every one of his receivers in particular.”
There are many notions that Cousins must dispel this year in Minnesota, at the least of which is the league-wide perception he does not appear at the big minutes, that if the strain is high he’s, like he said,”that a .500 quarterback.” Cousins is off to a fantastic start. Acceptance and awareness are the very first steps on the path to change.
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