Vikings’ Cousins: ‘I like our chemistry, our locker room, I think we have a great group of men’

To whom much is given, from him much is expected. Such is the case with Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins, who joined the team after signing a three-year, $84 million deal last offseason. And while Cousins put up decent numbers(4298 yards, 30 touchdowns) in 2018, the team did not have as much success as expected. Last season, Minnesota fell short of making the playoffs, which made 2018 a massive disappointment for the club.

Now, this is year two for Cousins, and a new opportunity to prove that he is the guy that can lead Minnesota to a Super Bowl this season.

The Vikings closed training camp on Friday, and according to Cousins, he likes where the team stands at this point.

“I think we have a really good defense. I go along the roster, and I just feel like every player is a guy who can play and has been battle-tested in the league as well,” Cousins said on Friday. “I like our chemistry, our locker room, I think we have a great group of men, that’s got to count for something. I love our system; I love what we’re doing offensively, I think even our defense, and our defensive coaches going against us every day, would say that the system is a good system and is putting them in a bind and is challenging them, so that’s a positive.

“I just like the continued rapport that I and we are building with one another with more time together, and you got to go play the games to see where that leads, but those are some positives.”

Minnesota has a talented football team. They have weapons on offense, and they still have an outstanding defense. The key for this football team is the play of Cousins, and fortunately for him, most of the talent on the offensive side of the ball was there in Minnesota last season, so he should have a lot of familiarity with those players, which should help the team in 2019.

In reality, with the money that the Vikings gave Cousins, anything short of a championship would be a huge failure, so the pressure is on Cousins to get this team over the top.

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Diggs on Cousins: ‘As far as having a veteran quarterback that has been around the game, I trust him’

Last season, things did not go the way Vikings fans envisioned, especially after Minnesota signed QB Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million deal. What was envisioned, a Super Bowl contending team, and what actually happened are two different things.

The Vikings(8-7-1) missed the playoffs in 2018 after making the NFC title game in 2017, and while statistically speaking Cousins(4298 yards, 30 touchdowns) had a decent season, he did not do make things happen when the team needed him the most, which included losing to the Bears at home with the playoffs on the line in the season finale.

Even though the Vikings did not have the success they wanted, Minnesota’s star WR Stefon Diggs still has confidence in Cousins.

“I feel like it’s the big picture. Everybody wants things to happen so fast,” Diggs said on Wednesday. “But Kirk was only here six months or something like that. As far as going into his second year and getting comfortable, I remember at one point I was with Teddy [Bridgewater], and it took a while to get adjusted. I was new to the league, and he was young, too.

“As far as having a veteran quarterback that has been around the game, I trust him. Going into his second year, I look forward to building the relationship and just moving forward. We kind of have a bad taste in our mouths from last year. Of course, we had high goals like everybody else. Things didn’t go that way. Going into the new year, we have the same goals, but we just have to handle it differently.”

I think it’s safe to say that we don’t know what Cousins is at this point. Some believe he is good but not good enough to win a title, while others believe he is good enough to put  Minnesota over the top.  To Diggs’ point, we do have to give Cousins more than one year to prove his worth, but if things don’t go right for Minnesota this season, Vikings fans won’t be very patient.

Kubiak on Cousins: ‘He’s a hell of a player’

Vikings assistant head coach and offensive advisor Gary Kubiak knows a lot of about winning quarterback play.  First, as a player, he was a backup to the great John Elway in Denver. Next, he was a quarterback coach with the 49ers and helped Steve Young win a Super Bow in 1994. Furthermore, he was Elway’s OC and QB coach in Denver and helped the Broncos win back-to-back Super Bowl titles(1997-98). Finally, as the head coach of the Broncos, he helped the great Peyton Manning and Denver win Super Bowl 50.

Now, he is trying to bring that same magic to Minnesota with Kirk Cousins. While Cousins was unable to lead the Vikings to the playoffs last season, Kubiak believes Cousins is a good player, which is why he thinks he can help Cousins in 2019.

“I think it helps you look through the eyes of a quarterback,” Kubiak said today. “I put myself in that pocket when he’s back there. What would I think here, what would I think about that call or that situation. I know a lot about Kirk, I studied him coming out, obviously got to know him through the draft process, and then I got to know him even better through Mike [Shanahan] and Kyle [Shanahan] through the years. I know he’s driven to succeed, he’s a hell of a player, and we got to do everything we can to help him out. I look forward to that relationship. Hopefully being in there a little bit, what little bit John [Elway] let me plan my career, hopefully, I can recall some of those things.”

Adding Kubiak to the staff can definitely help Cousins. Having a guy around with his experience is very valuable for Cousins and the team. The pressure is on Cousins to live up to that three-year, $84 million contract, and maybe Kubiak can be the guy that can help him breakthrough in 2019.

Treadwell on Cousins, Vikings: ‘This is the first year; we were a little rusty’

Minnesota’s $84 million man Kirk Cousins was supposed to come in right away and take the Vikings to the next level, and that next level was the Super Bowl as Minnesota went to the NFC title game with Case Keenum as the quarterback in 2017.

Unfortunately for Minnesota, they would miss the playoffs in 2018, which was a huge disappointment considering the success they had last season.

In the NFL, the QB receives too much credit and too much blame, but it comes with the territory, and Cousins received a lot of the blame, but according to Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell, it’s not just all on Cousins.

“He’s a baller,” Treadwell told TMZ Sports. “This is the first year; we were a little rusty, but we gonna bounce back. We were learning each other, chemistry.”

This is only year one for Cousins in Minnesota, so it’s way too early to say the signing was a bad move. However, Cousins has to play better against better teams in the league. He was 1-6 against teams above .500 in 2018, and he is 5-25 against teams with winning records and is 0-1 in the playoffs.

Let’s see if that number changes in 2019.

 

Zimmer on Cousins in big games: ‘I see that statistic and obviously it’s not a good statistic’

Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings came up small in the biggest game of the year. With an opportunity to make the playoffs, Cousins and the Vikings were dominated by the Bears 24-10 at home last Sunday.

In that game, Cousins did not play his best football. He was 20/33 for only 132 yards and one touchdown. Not good enough for a guy you gave a three-year, $84 million deal to last offseason.

Including his career with Redskins, Cousins is now 5-25 against teams with winning records, and is 0-1 in the playoffs.

Today, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer discussed the play of Cousins in 2018.

Q: Are you concerned about Kirk Cousins’ performances in big games and clutch situations?

Zimmer: “I see that statistic and obviously it’s not a good statistic. Quite honestly, it’s about the football team. One guy doesn’t win games around here; one guy doesn’t lose games. I don’t take it that way. I have a lot of confidence in Kirk. I’ve talked to him, I’ve talked to some other people about how I can help him better and things that I can do moving forward and so he’s going to come out and play really good next year.”

Q: In what ways did Kirk Cousins live up to your expectations and what you would like to see him improve on?

Zimmer: “Certainly there’s a lot of things in both areas. I really don’t want to get into specifics, sit here in front of all of you and tell you what he can get better at. I’d rather talk to him about those things. As far as the things he did good, number one he came in here and was a great teammate. He studied real hard; he worked extremely hard at everything he was trying to get done. I do think there are some areas he could get better at and I’m sure he’d tell you the same thing.”

Q: Was his play this season what you expected from him?

Zimmer: I think it’s more about the combination of the team, not one particular player.

Cousins(4298 yards, 30 TD/10 INT) put up good numbers in 2018, but he has to be better in big games. Minnesota not making the playoffs is not all on Cousins, but when you pay a guy that type of money, you are expecting a huge return, especially with the Vikings coming off an NFC title game appearance in 2017.

Cousins was surrounded by a lot of talented players in Minnesota. However, in the end, he was not able to get it done.

 

Vikings’ Jayron Kearse: ‘Honestly, we didn’t play our best football all year’

The Minnesota Vikings disappointing season ended on Sunday as they lost to the Chicago Bears at home 24-10. With the loss, the Vikings(8-7-1) will miss the playoffs after going 13-3 and making the NFC title game last season.

The Vikings were not consistent in 2018 and really did not play good football this season, which safety Jayron Kearse discussed after the loss to the Bears.

“Honestly, we didn’t play our best football all year,” Kearse said.  “We can’t do anything about it now. We have a good group of guys that’s going to be in there this off-season, and we’re going to work our tails off. Try to start from OTAs on out. Right now we can’t do anything about it, and it is what it is.”

When asked why the Vikings struggled in 2018, Kearse had this to say:

“I don’t know, that’s not for me to pinpoint. That’s above my pay grade; I’m just going to play ball. I cannot pinpoint anything.”

The Vikings had a lot of issues this season, and those problems seemed to be magnified against teams with winning records. Minnesota ended the season 1-6 against teams with winning records, and because of their struggles against the better teams in the league, their season ended on Sunday against the Bears.

 

 

Greg Jennings on Cousins: ‘He hasn’t been able to win the big games’

The Minnesota Vikings are one game away from clinching a playoff spot. For that to happen, the Vikings(8-6-1) have to beat the NFC North champs the Chicago Bears at home, and they clinch a wild-card spot, but If they lose, and the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Redskins, the Vikings would miss the playoffs, and for the fans of Minnesota that would be a huge disappointment.

In the offseason, the Vikings grabbed what they thought would be their franchise quarterback in Kirk Cousins. Minnesota signed the 30-year-old quarterback to a three-year, $84 million deal, and when you pay a player that type of money, you expect immediate results.

At this point, according to former Packers, Vikings, and Dolphins WR Greg Jennings, Cousins has not been worth the money.

“Right now with the results that we see, visibly, tangible now to us all. No, it’s not worth it,”  Jennings told TMZ Sports. “But what they’re getting in-house, what Kirk Cousins provides for them as far the leadership, what their expectations of him are, I think he’s meeting all of those things. In our eyes, and what his record proves, he hasn’t been able to win those big games.”

Cousins(4166, 29 TD/10 INT) has been solid, but has not been great. Coming into Week 17, he has only beaten one team(Eagles) with a winning record this season.

For the contract to be considered a success, Jennings believes Cousins needs to win in the playoffs.

“First, he needs to win Sunday, and then definitely win in the playoffs,” Jennings said.  “At least win one game in the playoffs. Anybody can win in the playoffs, so it’s not a big deal.”

Remember in 2017, Minnesota was 13-3 and was one game away from making the Super Bowl. That was with Case Keenum as the quarterback. With Cousins as the quarterback, the Vikings may barely make the playoffs.

No matter what happens in 2018, Cousins is a better QB than Keenum. Ultimately, I think the Vikings will beat the Bears on Sunday and make the playoffs. However, once in the playoffs, I don’t expect this team to make a lot of noise, but once you are in the playoffs, anything can happen. Cousins can silence those who believe he can’t win important games on Sunday against Chicago. Should be interesting!

Zimmer on Cousins: ‘He’s come in here and taken charge as a leader’

Since the departure of Brett Favre after the 2010 season, the Minnesota Vikings have been trying to find a quarterback. They tried with Christian Ponder, Donovan McNabb, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford, and Case Keenum, but none of those guys could get the Vikings to where they wanted to go, which is the Super Bowl.

In the offseason, Minnesota made a run at free agent QB Kirk Cousins, and ultimately the Vikings were able to sign him to a three-year, $84 million deal. At this point, Cousins is second in the NFL in passing yards, and after today’s victory over the Cardinals, he has the Vikings tied for first in the NFC North at 3-2.

According to Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, Cousins is the leader that Minnesota has been looking for at the quarterback position.

“It wasn’t a few years ago. There was a while I thought Teddy [Bridgewater] was going to be my guy for the rest of my coaching career and he would still be here, and I’d be fired,” Zimmer said after the Vikings victory over Cardinals.

“Then I thought Sam [Bradford] was going to be the guy. Then I thought Case [Keenum] was going to be the guy. In the offseason, we did a study on really those four guys. I knew Kirk from playing against him. The thing that I love about this guy is his passion for the game, his intensity that he has. He’s come in here and taken charge as a leader. When Rick [Spielman], and myself, Flip [John DeFilippo], George Paton, we sat in there, and we evaluated all the quarterbacks, and we came out with a consensus, and that was the one we wanted to go with, and everybody was all in.”

The Cousins’ signing will be a success if the Vikings can get to the Super Bowl, and at this point, the NFC is wide open, which should give the Vikings some hope that they could finally get back to a Super Bowl.

Vikes’ Zimmer on Bailey signing: ‘If we can get that position solidified like we have with the QB, I think that’ll be good’

The Minnesota Vikings have championship aspirations in 2018. After the season they had in 2017(Lost in NFC title game ), and with the signing of Kirk Cousins, the Vikings are looking to get to the Super Bowl.

Last Sunday was a rough one for Minnesota. With two chances to beat the Packers in OT at Lambeau, their former kicker Daniel Carlson missed two makeable field goals, and unfortunately for the Vikings, the game would end in a 29-29 tie.

Knowing that they needed a more reliable kicker, the Vikings released Carlson on Monday, and signed former Cowboys K Dan Bailey on Tuesday, who happens to be the second-most accurate kicker in NFL history.

With the signing of Cousins in the offseason and the addition of Bailey this week, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer believes Minnesota is in good shape at the QB position and in the kicking game.

“This guy has been a really good kicker. Hopefully, he’s really, really good for us,” Zimmer said about Bailey on Wednesday. “I kind of feel the same way about him as I did with the quarterback position. Somebody asked me the other day about the five years I’ve been here we’ve been trying to get that position solidified, so if we can get that position solidified like we have with the quarterback I think that’ll be good.”

Cousins showed a lot last week against the Packers, especially in that fourth quarter when he led the Vikings back and helped send the game to OT.

Moving forward with Bailey, the Vikings should be okay in the kicking game, and with Cousins, the Vikings might be okay at the quarterback position.

 

Vikes’ Cousins knew Rodgers was going to lead the Packers back against Bears

What happened last Sunday night at Lambeau Field was truly amazing. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who was carted off to the locker room in the first quarter after injuring his left knee, returned and brought the Packers back from a 20-point deficit to defeat the Bears 24-23.

While some might have been shocked by the comeback, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins was not.

“Very impressive. All the way around. The throws, the way he extends plays, the toughness he showed. No surprise,” Cousins said this week. “I found myself sitting on my couch as I watched, saying to my family and friends that I was watching with, ‘He is probably going to bring them back.’ Watching him for years now, knowing what he is capable of doing. Sure enough, he did. You’re really not surprised because you know what he is capable of.”

The Vikings travel to Lambeau to face the Packers on Sunday. Rodgers, who did not practice all week, is listed as questionable for the game.