Kirk Cousins takes “ownership” for offensive struggles

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The Vikings fired their offensive coordinator, but the quarterback’s not going anywhere (for $84 million reasons).

So Kirk Cousins said he had to take “ownership” of the team’s offensive struggles, which led to John DeFilippo’s sudden unemployment.

“Myself, I’d be the first one to say, if I had played at a higher level, we’re probably not talking about the things we’re talking about,” Cousins said, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com. “I take ownership, as well. Yet, big picture why? I don’t know. I do point to the fact that we played at Chicago, who’s a good defense. You saw what they did to the Rams. We played at Seattle and at New England, those aren’t places you walk into as of late and just walk out with a win without breaking a sweat. Those are tough places to play, good teams. I’m sure there’s a part of that, that you have to look at as well.

“You look at, ‘What do I need to do better? How can I be better?’ The nature of the quarterback position is that the ball is in your hands. So you’re going to be easily able to say that so many times. That was one of the things I did communicate to Coach Flip yesterday was, I believe with the ball in my hand, had I played at my fullest potential play in and play out, we’re probably not having this conversation right now. That’s something I take personally and is certainly tough for me, and keeps you up at night. But at the same time, all you can do now is go forward and, you know, ‘Hey, faced adversity before, been able to overcome it, been able to push through it.’ As coach Shanahan always told me, ‘Tough times don’t last, tough people do.’ I’m going to choose to be a tough person, keep going and believe if we do that, if I do that, good things are in store.”

The struggles were a recent phenomenon, as over the first eight weeks of the season Cousins was putting up good numbers. They were in the top 10 in total offense, passing yards, completion percentage, and passer rating. But they’re down to 17th in total yards and 20th in scoring, leading Mike Zimmer to make the change this week.

Whether things suddenly revert under the direction of Kevin Stefanski remains to be seen, but Cousins is absolutely right about his position guaranteeing him a big share of the blame if it doesn’t.

32 responses to “Kirk Cousins takes “ownership” for offensive struggles

  1. Is Cousins overpaid? Of course. Nearly every professional athlete is overpaid. Is he overrated? Can’t say. I’d like to see him play behind the dual necessities for a QB of a solid offensive line and a competent scheme. He hasn’t had either this year.

  2. reppster says:
    December 13, 2018 at 6:51 am
    He will end up getting traded this offseason if the Vikings finish poorly.

    ———-

    To whom? No one wants that contract. It isn’t even the amount but the guarantee.

  3. If we’re going to play the blame game already, even though the Vikings still control their own destiny, then Spielman should be at the top of the list. How you could throw that kind of money at a pocket passer without upgrading a porous O-line is beyond me.

  4. Successful offenses have solid OLs. In the world of stats and fantasy football, we don’t often quantify the importance of the offensive line, but if you watch enough football you can see the difference a good OL makes. Cousins is not a bad quarterback. He’s not a superstar, but you don’t need a superstar if you have good OL play and a good offensive scheme. Look at the Bears. Trubisky is not a good quarterback at this point, but they’re scoring points and they’re winning. Tweak the scheme and get better OL play and the Vikings offense will be good; they have the skill players.

  5. “I take ownership”. What does that actually mean? That sounds like a politician who’s been caught breaking the law and says “I take responsibility”, and then nothing else happens.

    What needs to happen for Cousins is that he needs to play better. He can start by using his feet more often to avoid the pass rush and start making plays on the move. That was one thing Case Keenum excelled at last season that Cousins currently lacks.

    What’s with the excuses about Chicago, New England and Seattle being tough places to play? Hello! Championship football teams win on the road, at least some of the time, in places that are tough to play. Maybe if Cousins had managed to put up some points outside of garbage time in Chicago and Seattle, the Vikings might have won one of those games.

    The loss to Buffalo in week three exposed this team’s offense as soft, and their OC (at the time) as clueless. Unfortunately, that continued through last week. Hopefully things change going forward.

  6. Cousins hasn’t played well no doubt. But DeFilippo’s failure to call running plays was a big part of that. The Vikes’ offensive line is terrible. You can’t force your QB to make that many throws a game in that situation. The few times they did run, they were getting good positive yardage.

    Nine yards per carry against the Patriots, and DeFilippo calls just 9 running plays and 44 passes. That is pure incompetence. Then, slightly different numbers, but the same basic pattern against the Seahawks. He had to go.

  7. We knew you weren’t Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees. It’s not your fault you got paid like them. Hopefully we get you an offensive line this off season, so you can play at the Tony Romo/Joe Flacco/Eli Manning level (when those guys were at their relative peaks) you’re capable of.

  8. Sometimes I think people “predict” failure in the hopes of being right and feeling better about themselves. When the Vikings make the playoffs those same people will them predict they won’t make the SB. When you’re wrong most of the time, don’t brag when you’re right just once. 1 game at a time Kirk. That’s all we need.

  9. Who the heck is MN going to sign in the off season?

    They are 30th in the league in cap space for 2019 and have only 9M available. This is the team they got (plus the draft picks)

  10. Only the Viking fans thought signing Cousins would turn out well. The Redskins recognized that they needed an upgrade at the QB position and acted accordingly. Now the Vikings don’t even have that choice, all that guaranteed money means Cousins isn’t going anywhere and the same could be said about the Vikings. How long before the owners see thru Speilman and make the one change the Vikings really need.

  11. atthemurph says:
    December 13, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Who the heck is MN going to sign in the off season?

    They are 30th in the league in cap space for 2019 and have only 9M available. This is the team they got (plus the draft picks)
    =============================================================================
    Fair question. Some of that cap spaces is going to be jettisoned, starting with Mike Remmers, and perhaps Riley Reiff. The Vikings are also headed into year five of Trey Waynes contract, and it wouldn’t shock me to see him traded for a high draft pick, given that Mike Hughes will be back and Holton Hill has proven he can play at a high level. If they can’t afford to keep Waynes long term, better to trade him and get something in return.

    Changes are coming, hopefully starting with those two over-priced, under-performing offensive linemen.

  12. “I take ownership, as well. Yet, big picture why? I don’t know. I do point to the fact that we played at Chicago, …. We played at Seattle and at New England,… Those are tough places to play, good teams. I’m sure there’s a part of that, that you have to look at as well.”

    ++++++

    I don’t think Cousins really understands what “taking ownership” means.

  13. markod52 says:
    December 13, 2018 at 10:12 am

    Maybe he should volunteer some of this year’s pay to charity…something in the 7 figure range. Now that would be genuine.
    __________

    I don’t know this for sure but I would be shocked if he isn’t already giving at least $1 million a year to charity.

  14. atthemurph says:
    December 13, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Who the heck is MN going to sign in the off season?

    They are 30th in the league in cap space for 2019 and have only 9M available. This is the team they got (plus the draft picks)
    ___________

    I guess you missed the recent story about the salary cap increasing by $13 million next year. Also, some guys making big money won’t be here and other guys can restructure. Perhaps you haven’t heard, but Rob Brzezinski is so good at managing the salary cap, it’s almost like magic.

  15. I guess you missed the recent story about the salary cap increasing by $13 million next year. Also, some guys making big money won’t be here and other guys can restructure.

  16. packertruth says:
    December 13, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    I guess you missed the recent story about the salary cap increasing by $13 million next year. Also, some guys making big money won’t be here and other guys can restructure.
    _______

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  17. Kirk has blame, but it’s not really all him. Kirk may be the house but the OL is the foundation. With no Foundation the house can not stand. Who built this house anyways?

  18. Put Remmers back to tackle. He’s overwhelmed at guard. Put Cook and Murray in the backfield at the same time. Chip block and put in 2 TE sets now that Morgan is back. No more Treadwell on 3rd down. Get Rudolph more involved. Go no huddle the rest of the year all game every game.

  19. mnmouth says:
    December 13, 2018 at 7:04 am
    Is Cousins overpaid? Of course. Nearly every professional athlete is overpaid. Is he overrated? Can’t say. I’d like to see him play behind the dual necessities for a QB of a solid offensive line and a competent scheme. He hasn’t had either this year.
    ____________________

    Who’s fault is that? I mean it would be one thing if all of a sudden the Oline wasn’t going to do well, its been a struggle since Theodore was a rookie. They haven’t put enough emphasis on drafting talent, while some times you can find a guy in later rounds that may pan out,

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