Mike Zimmer expects “great” year from Kirk Cousins

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Kirk Cousins did some good things last season. The Vikings quarterback completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 4,298 yards with 30 touchdowns.

But he threw 10 interceptions and lost seven fumbles, and the Vikings went only 8-7-1 a year after reaching the NFC Championship Game.

The Vikings, though, expect Cousins to make a big jump in his second season in Minnesota.

“I think he had a good year,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “I think because he signed the big contract, everybody’s on his rear end about that, and we didn’t win enough games. Same with me, I guess, but the big thing is every free agent I’ve had in my 25 or 26 years, however many years I’ve been coaching, they’ve always played better the second year. They have to learn where everything is, they have to find a place to live. You can go through our free agents: Captain Munnerlyn, when he was with us, his second year. Linval Joseph, second year. All these guys, typically, they don’t know anybody; they don’t know where their locker is, all this stuff. You throw that in with new terminology, whatever. I think he’s going to play great.”

The Vikings removed the interim tag from offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and hired Gary Kubiak as an offensive adviser. Kubiak coached under Mike Shanahan with the Broncos and had Kyle Shanahan as an assistant coach with him in Houston.

“It’s definitely going to help Kirk,” Zimmer said. “The system, the terminology, the things [Kubiak] has done really well with the Shanahan’s, with Kyle and coach [Mike] Shanahan, it’s definitely going to help.”

50 responses to “Mike Zimmer expects “great” year from Kirk Cousins

  1. Fix the offensive line and Cousins will have a great season. Try to slide by with a few blowout patches on the line and Cousins will still lead you to a winning record but not much more.

    30 passing TDs with just 10 interceptions is pretty darn good, especially given the poor state of the line.

  2. He still has only beat a couple of teams with a winning record. He pads his stats in garbage time.

  3. Most people can’t see beyond the quarterback. If you see a great QB he’s probably playing behind a good offensive line. The Vikings offense was doomed by their bad offensive line.

  4. Just think, had the Vikings kept Keenum (the guy who got them to that NFC Title game) he would have been in that 2nd “more comfortable” year last season. Seems Zim and Speilman are too smart for their own good.

  5. The Vikings quarterback completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 4,298 yards with 30 touchdowns.

    But he threw 10 interceptions and lost seven fumbles.

    _________________________________________________________________

    “BUT” he threw 10INT’s? You’d better take a long hard look around the NFL, 10th in yards, 3rd in completion percentage and not many QB’s have a 3 to 1 TD to INT ratio! Add it all up and that puts Cousins in some elite company. And WTH do people expect his first year with a new team, new playbook and WRs he didn’t have any rapport with, I’d take ANY QB that puts up numbers like that his first year with a new team!

    OH and that 8-7-1 record, well there’s 52 other players on the team and BTW it’s a “TEAM” sport, but somehow the QB always gets blamed for the losses!

  6. How come no one is dogging Dalvin Cook for the measly 615yds rushing? That was 32nd in the NFL BTW!
    The guy’s supposed to be all that and a bag of chips and only puts up 615, SERIOUSLY?

  7. toddm6d says:

    Just think, had the Vikings kept Keenum (the guy who got them to that NFC Title game) he would have been in that 2nd “more comfortable” year last season. Seems Zim and Speilman are too smart for their own good.

    ****

    Exactly what I thought too. Wasn’t Keenum’s first year in Minnesota 2017?

    As a Vikings fan I’m resolving things by reminding myself that if the Wilf’s trust Zimmer and GM Rick with these moves, then so should I. Case is gone and Cousins throws it better. Regardless, no defense is going to hold the opponent to 10-points every week, so the other side of the ball must rise to occasion. That’s on Kirk. The problems at kicker is no small deal either. Zimmer would be in a totally different place in his career if they’d had a good one.

  8. The Packers dominated the North with a Goober HC if Lafleur has the brains to not blow up at High School Basketball Coaches the Pack will be a fully operational battle station. #12 is about to put everyone to shame.

  9. If only Nick Foles wasn’t expectee to lead HIS team to a championship … and Carson Wentz … and Drew Brees … and Jimmy Garopollo … and Jared Goff … and Dak Prescott … and that rookie who’s just over 5’10” … you get the picture

  10. I get it…. he lost to the Bills because he didn’t know where his locker was yet. If only they had nameplates ….

  11. In light of the fact Zimmers’ “philosophy” of second-year progress being thrown under the train with Keenum, does anybody else smell the fear and anxiety?

  12. You’d would think by now that Zimmer’s soft shoe routine would be wearing a little thin.
    Five seasons in and clearly nothing to show for it.
    Hopefully that new kicking net coach they’ve hired pays some dividends.

  13. toddm6d says:

    Just think, had the Vikings kept Keenum (the guy who got them to that NFC Title game) he would have been in that 2nd “more comfortable” year last season.
    ###

    Did you watch Keenum in the NFC Title game? The previous game against the Saints should have been a blowout win – but Keenum needed a frickin’ miracle to win a playoff game after throwing those wounded ducks of his.

    That’s why they replaced him. His performance in Denver confirmed that they made the right decision.

  14. Keenum wasn’t the reason the Vikings came up short of going to the SuperBowl against the Eagles. It was the porous mail-it-in and overrated defense……..the same affliction as last year. Overrated.

  15. gtodriver says:
    “His performance in Denver confirmed that they made the right decision.”

    ——-

    Your view is extremely shortsighted and ignores the fact he was in another new system with a far less talented offensive cast in Denver. Keenum is much more mobile QB than Cousins and had the added ability to move out of the pocket to extend plays which not only made his line look better but also gave the chance for him to get the ball to Theilen and Diggs.

    Not only that, he would have been a cheaper option which would have allowed for more cap room to put some money into a line to protect him. Cousins contract doesn’t allow for that so this season look for a lack of depth on the roster as Speilman tries to plug the holes with whatever Minnesota Brand 3M tape he can pick up of off I94 on his drive over to the new practice facility.

    You also ignore the fact Zim’s D tanked in the 2018 playoffs, which continued as a problem last season.

    Poor decisions are like a snowball rolling downhill, and I don’t see Minnesota returning to 2017/2018 form anytime soon.

  16. If he has a line and his WRs and RBs step up he can take this team deep into 2020.
    If he is all they have, he doesn’t stand a chance.
    MN should have laid out the cash for a better Line replacements last after their starters got hurt. No excuse not to.
    They set him up to fail.

  17. stellarperformance says:
    March 1, 2019 at 9:54 am
    Keenum wasn’t the reason the Vikings came up short of going to the SuperBowl against the Eagles. It was the porous mail-it-in and overrated defense……..the same affliction as last year. Overrated.
    ———————————

    The best recent memory of the playoffs for Packer fans is a Viking loss. Congratulations. That’s all you’ll have for playoff memories for a long, long time.

  18. stellarperformance says:
    March 1, 2019 at 9:54 am
    Keenum wasn’t the reason the Vikings came up short of going to the SuperBowl against the Eagles. It was the porous mail-it-in and overrated defense……..the same affliction as last year. Overrated.
    ———
    Well can’t the Vikings take a page from your book and blame the Keenum season on the starting qb being hurt? Oh wait they didn’t curl up in the fetal position and quit on the season after 1 player was injured.

  19. saulg2: Who would you have recommended to replace the injured players on the o-line. I didn’t realize there were a lot of great linemen just waiting around to be brought in.

  20. gtodriver says:
    March 1, 2019 at 8:16 am
    toddm6d says:
    Just think, had the Vikings kept Keenum (the guy who got them to that NFC Title game) he would have been in that 2nd “more comfortable” year last season.
    ###
    Did you watch Keenum in the NFC Title game? The previous game against the Saints should have been a blowout win – but Keenum needed a frickin’ miracle to win a playoff game after throwing those wounded ducks of his.
    That’s why they replaced him. His performance in Denver confirmed that they made the right decision.
    ========================================================================================
    Actually, his performance in Denver is indicative of nothing, only that he had a bad first year in Denver. New team, new coaches, new playbook- his first year with a new team (as many here are giving Cousins a pass for his performance with a new team).

    The only way to know how Keenum would have meshed with the Vikings in 2018 would have been for him to play there. He didn’t. So no one knows if the Vikings could have gone to the Super Bowl with him, fallen flat on their face, or anything in between.

  21. filthymcnasty3 says:
    March 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm
    He’s a Viking QB.

    That means choking.

    In the clutch.
    ————————————

    Packer fans should steer away from talking about clutch QBs. A fun fact is their current “HOF” QB is 0-37 when down by 1 point or more in the 4th quarter against teams with winning records. Let that sink in.

  22. Liberalsruineverything says:
    March 2, 2019 at 5:26 pm
    filthymcnasty3 says:
    March 2, 2019 at 1:00 pm
    He’s a Viking QB.
    That means choking.
    In the clutch.
    ————————————
    Packer fans should steer away from talking about clutch QBs. A fun fact is their current “HOF” QB is 0-37 when down by 1 point or more in the 4th quarter against teams with winning records. Let that sink in.
    ====================================================================================================================
    Aaron Rodgers is 14th all-time in winning percentage. What more would you like the guy to do to meet your standards for a great QB? It would be more interesting if you could apply some context to this 4th quarter stat you’ve brought up. How about the records of 20 or 30 other QB’s in the 4th quarter with the same criteria? It would also be useful to know how the defenses perform in the 4th quarter when Rodgers is playing. A lot of these stats are useless without any context applied to them.

    It’s funny how you guys keep raising the bar on this guy or try to find specious little stats without providing context in order to to make him look worse. He’s obviously a great QB. Other QB’s, past and present think so. So do a lot of coaches. And those guys seem to know a bit more about football than Vikings’ fans, who have some need to continually embarrass themselves.

    Do you think Fran Tarkenton was a great QB? Or would you like to talk about how terrible he was on the biggest stage so we can shame him for his poor Super Bowl performances? Or maybe we can apply some context and realize he was up against some great teams in those games.

  23. RMoss84HOF says:
    March 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm
    Well can’t the Vikings take a page from your book and blame the Keenum season on the starting qb being hurt? Oh wait they didn’t curl up in the fetal position and quit on the season after 1 player was injured.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I wasn’t aware pretenders needed excuses. Everything became moot when the reputation of the Vikings was identified and recognized as pretenders.

  24. Vikings are pretenders then the packers must me massive underachievers with a soft as toilet paper qb.

  25. stellarperformance says:
    March 2, 2019 at 10:48 pm
    RMoss84HOF says:
    March 1, 2019 at 7:40 pm
    Well can’t the Vikings take a page from your book and blame the Keenum season on the starting qb being hurt? Oh wait they didn’t curl up in the fetal position and quit on the season after 1 player was injured.
    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    I wasn’t aware pretenders needed excuses. Everything became moot when the reputation of the Vikings was identified and recognized as pretenders.

    ————-
    The point being the Vikings didn’t make excuses when their qbs was hurt. The packers spent the year whining about Barr and making excuses rather than coming together as a team and competing.

  26. I look for the Vikings to be in the hunt for the division again in 2019. They will improve the offensive line in the draft. And I like the coaches they brought in to help the running game. With their coaching history they should be able to run the ball better in 2019. It should be an interesting season.

  27. aypeeswhippingstick says:
    March 4, 2019 at 4:32 pm
    He’ll have a great season right up until he plays on national TV in a game that has playoff implications.
    ———-
    As will Rodgers til he gets hit and gets hurt then the excuses will pile up like usual.

  28. cheeseisfattening says:
    February 28, 2019 at 6:19 pm
    Not a single worry about anybody having to embrace change or having to get comfortable with uncomfortablity.
    ________________

    You say that like its a good thing… Cousins is comfortable putting up stats and struggling to beat teams with a winning record, Change would be a good thing for Minnesota, like winning a Superbowl for once.

    Just remember some of the most dangerous words someone can say is, “We have ALWAYS done it this way,”

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