Mike Shanahan: Kirk Cousins right QB for Vikings, but supporting cast has to improve

Getty Images

The Vikings went to the NFC Championship Game after the 2017 season and then signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a big contract last offseason in a move that was seen as an attempt to take the final step up the ladder to the Super Bowl.

Things did not work out that way. The Vikings missed the playoffs and fired their offensive coordinator in the middle of the season after complaints from head coach Mike Zimmer about the lack of a capable run game. Kevin Stefanski became the offensive coordinator and the Vikings added former Broncos and Texans head coach Gary Kubiak to the staff last month as another offensive mind.

Stefanski said last week that he believes Kubiak’s history with Mike and Kyle Shanahan could help Cousins, who was drafted by Washington when Mike was the team’s head coach. The elder Shanahan agrees that it will be a good partnership, but said the Vikings need work elsewhere to make strides in 2018.

“Both guys are very easy to work with, both are extremely bright, have great work ethics and I think both will work together perfectly,” Shanahan said, via Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “You have the right [quarterback] there. Not everybody can see that, but hopefully when they get him a supporting cast, people will see that.”

Shanahan called the offensive line one area that needs to improve and that view is shared by plenty of others that watched the Vikings in 2018. They’ll get a chance to start addressing that area when the new league year gets underway next month.

34 responses to “Mike Shanahan: Kirk Cousins right QB for Vikings, but supporting cast has to improve

  1. The coaching and leadership of Tony Sparano covered up a lot of deficiencies in that offensive line. His death before the season threw a big wrench in all aspects of the offense. Then add an ego driven OC that refused to run the ball or help protect his QB. Give Cousins time to throw and he’ll chew up any defense.

  2. Liberalsruineverything says:
    February 24, 2019 at 10:43 am
    The coaching and leadership of Tony Sparano covered up a lot of deficiencies in that offensive line. His death before the season threw a big wrench in all aspects of the offense. Then add an ego driven OC that refused to run the ball or help protect his QB. Give Cousins time to throw and he’ll chew up any defense.

    ————————————–

    any defense, as long as it is on a sub .500 squad, and hes playing at home. real defenses though, not so much.

  3. With the Vikings line we need a QB who is more Fran Tarkington and less Peyton Manning. Our history shows success with scrambling and running QB’s. Look at Dante Culpepper, even Randal Cunningham. But you can make a stationary QB work if you surround him properly as the article says. But seriously has anyone even seen a QB with worse pocket presence than Cousins? All these fumbles come from a complete lack of awareness of any pressure unless it is right up the middle. I had no idea how bad this was until he started to play for us. Better protection would help but seriously he is lacking a key fundamental skill needed to be successful. And we are chained to him for two more years. I am in favor of drafting his replacement and starting the development process. I am looking forward to two more years of optimism and heartache.

  4. Played behind a line that was basically the middle of the NFL for giving up sacks. There were teams in the playoffs that gave up more than MN did.

    Would you like a better o-line? Sure but saying that’s THE reason Kirk played like he did is intellectually dishonest. Kirk deserves criticism so do other members of that team and coaching staff.

    Failing to address all of them ensures a repeat of last year’s results.

  5. Any so-so QB is right for Vikings, but supporting cast has to improve.

    Fixed it.

    QBs are dependent on their Oline. Unless you are a really smart and experienced QB, you shouldn’t get paid top dollar because you can’t function without a good oline.

  6. Oh, I definitely think Kurt Cousins is the right QB for the Vikings.
    In fact, he’s cemented his place right in line with a franchise who’s history is stacked full of underachievers.

  7. The OL is just an excuse . They provided enough time for Cousins to put up decent stats but the problem is Cousins inability to win against good teams because he makes silly mistakes at the worst possible moment to give games away .2018 was year three of the Cousins choke tour having a hard time believing anything will change for 2019 .

  8. In his short time in MN, Cousins has managed to live up to the legacy of Loserville.

    You have to do a lot of things wrong to go without a ring for more than half a century.

  9. I think let’s give Kirk a first class o line, strong running game, top 5 defense, better head coach, sterling special teams, and see where he goes from there.
    You must temper expectations on a fully guaranteed 84 mill until pieces are in place.

  10. Shanahan is correct. Cousins isn’t an elite QB who can make incredible plays when his protection breaks down. But he is a very good QB. The Vikings line was terrible last season and even very good QBs can’t win much in that situation.

  11. Still wondering what smart observer expects a signing like that to rocket a team to the Super Bowl in the first year! Why discount the things that every playoff team has, experience together, chemistry and no shocking and tragic death to senior coach. Cousins will tear it up in yrs 2 & 3.

  12. Umm, I’m sorry but Diggs Theilen and Cook are rockstars Mr Shanahan, and it’s shocking you can’t see that. We need an O line, maybe a fresh pass catching TE, and that is all.

  13. guitarfreak21 says:
    February 24, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Umm, I’m sorry but Diggs Theilen and Cook are rockstars Mr Shanahan, and it’s shocking you can’t see that. We need an O line, maybe a fresh pass catching TE, and that is all.
    ____________

    Umm, Diggs and Cook are, rockstars?
    C’mon, are you serious???
    skoLOL!!!

  14. Cousins is the John Hadl of the new NFL. No pocket awareness and can’t scramble. Needs a very solid OL as he can’t quickly read a defense or spot an open receiver. The observation that he can pick apart any defense if given enough protection is disingenuous at best. The same could be said of any 2nd string QB.

  15. Wow, a lot of arm chair gm’s and coaches here. Don’t have a clue and couldn’t probably coach or gm a pee wee football team!

  16. Vikings made the best of a bad situation.
    TEDDY blew out his knee and they are weary of it, thought the coach loves him.
    Denver was so impressed with Case they have traded for Blake.
    Arizona dumped Brad before the Vikings could cash in a third round extra pick.
    So yeh we are stuck with Kirk and he is not nor ever will be at the level or Rogers or Tom Brady, but he probably is good enough to win a SB with the line improves and the D gets better at takeaways.
    Hopefully they are also grooming the young pup behind.
    If things to come together and they win the Superbowl next year, he will have just as many rings as Rogers.

  17. Can we please stop calling teammate supporting cast? Enough been doing it since the 90’s. They need to get him better teammates and specifically offensive line. Having said that the new coaches they brought in will improve the play of the offensive line this year.

  18. When will people stop asking this tool’s opinion on something he’s so obviously biased on. Why don’t we ask Urban Meyer again why Tim Tebow isn’t an NFL starter too while you’re at it.

  19. He’s talking about the O-line and having a RB who can stay healthy. Cook has played a total of 11 games in his entire career. Starting his 3rd season now. That’s pathetic. Move Remmers back to OT. He graded out as #18 the last season he played tackle which is actually what the Vikings signed him to play. Reiff gave up zero sacks through the first 10 games in the Vikings NFCCG season. Last year he fell off with a hurt foot but played well to end the year. The Vikings need 2 guards and a center. Elflien is too weak and really regressed last year. Cut Griffen, don’t resign Barr, try to trade Rhodes. Even cut Rudloph. The Vikings will have enough cap room to sign a FA guard & Center then draft more guards and a tackle in case Remmers doesn’t work out. DO NOT DRAFT A CB ZIM. DON’T DO IT.

  20. The last conversation I had with Mike Shanahan he said ” All my Quarterbacks can bench 200 pounds, come back when you can bench 200 pounds.”
    Then I watched Wayne Peace lead his Gators to a disastrous season.

  21. Is 200 lbs a lot, because I can do 250 no problem and I’m an old man with heart disease?

    artic19 says:
    February 25, 2019 at 8:28 pm
    The last conversation I had with Mike Shanahan he said ” All my Quarterbacks can bench 200 pounds, come back when you can bench 200 pounds.”
    Then I watched Wayne Peace lead his Gators to a disastrous season.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.