Vikings trying to get Kirk Cousins to “next level”

AP

Kirk Cousins has started only two playoff games, winning neither. Yet, the Vikings signed him to a three-year deal last year that made him, at the time, the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Vikings have to figure out how to get back to what they did in 2017, now with Cousins as their quarterback.

“A lot of the things we’re doing now [are] . . . to get Kirk Cousins to go to that next level to do the things he does best,” Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman said Wednesday at the Vikings charity golf outing at The Meadows at Mystic Lake, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.

The Vikings are expected to run more and do more play action, something Spielman said Cousins does well.

“We know what our identity is,” Spielman said. “We got away from that last year. Our identity with Coach [Mike] Zimmer and how we win games with the Minnesota Vikings is we’re going to be tough; we’re going to be physical; we’re going to play great defense; we’re going to run the ball; we’re going to set up big plays by being able to run the ball and use play action. One of the things Kirk Cousins is best at is play action, and we didn’t do that enough last year.”

Cousins threw for 4,298 yards and 30 touchdowns but committed 17 turnovers. The Vikings went 8-7-1 a year after reaching the NFC Championship Game with Case Keenum, who went 12-4 in 2017, including two postseason games.

56 responses to “Vikings trying to get Kirk Cousins to “next level”

  1. Good luck with that. I remember the times my Cowboys had him running for his life and committing countless turnovers 😂

  2. Prior to last year, Kirk Cousins had the highest play-action passer rating of all active quarterbacks (124.4). In 2017, the Vikings were second in the NFL in play action pass attempts, so it looked like a match made in heaven. Pat Shurmur was the OC in 2017 and those many play action attempts helped to maximize the strengths of Case Keenum, who had the largest career difference between play-action passer rating and non-play-action passer rating. Unfortunately, John DeFilippo came in and did the exact opposite of what Shurmur did. The Vikings were 25th in the NFL in the percentage of play action passes last year, which is absurd. The Kubiak/Stefanski offense will change this and this will be the primary way that Cousins will go to the next level.

  3. DeFilipio turned out to be the wrong fit last year. The World Class Vikings discovered the mistake and corrected quickly by firing the man, then naming Stefanski the OC and bringing in Kubiak’s team as advisors. I expect big things from the team this year and am confident they will achieve it. If Cousins doesn’t turn the ball over, he’ll be in the running for MVP. Book it.

  4. Balanced Diet, that was funny. But not as funny as when the Rams had your little QB running for his life in that divisional round loss last year. Delicious!

  5. I dunno. I kind of think when you sign a QB for that much money, shouldn’t he already be “next level?”

  6. Cousins historically has a tendency to fumble, but there’s a lot of luck involved in whether a fumble is lost or not. Last year he had nine fumbles and lost seven. In his previous three years as a starter, he averaged 10.3 fumbles and 3.7 fumbles lost a year. So he lost 78% of his fumbles last year, compared to his career average of 35%. Simple regression to the mean suggests that Cousins would lose fewer fumbles this year even if no changes were made. Improvement in the offensive line and more emphasis on running the ball will also help in lessening the number of fumbles. Also, a ridiculous number of those fumbles were returned for touchdowns last year. That is unlikely to happen again.

  7. Kirk Cousins obviously can be a very effective QB, as long as the opposition is below .500.
    And they play during the day.
    Early in the season.
    That’s their identity!

  8. elvoid says:
    June 6, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    I dunno. I kind of think when you sign a QB for that much money, shouldn’t he already be “next level?”
    _________

    Preferably, but the NFL doesn’t work that way. Was Derek Carr “next level” when he signed his contract? How about Matthew Stafford? Jimmy Garoppolo? The fact is, any starting quarterback is going to sign a big contract when the time comes. Watch what Dak Prescott gets.

  9. But we only paid him 84 million to get us 8 wins. Not like a lesser qb could do that except for maybe the year before. The rest of the team let us down not Captain Kirk. Those turnovers are caused by the kicker btw….

  10. I can’t wait to see who Zim scapegoats this season when things start to go sour again.
    I don’t believe he has the clout anymore to throw Kubiak under the bus, that’s a schism just waiting to happen.
    And I’m not sure which side of the coin Stefanski falls under, but there’s always another kicker to cut loose, or more stuffed animals to slaughter.
    Oh the Humanity!

  11. A little below average to mediocre for his last year with the Viks then he moves on to the Rams for about the same money or maybe even a little less. Goff doesn’t get a new contract, Rams save $7 to $10 million and keep there better players.

  12. vikings28 says:
    June 6, 2019 at 5:35 pm
    He’s not even close to being highest paid. His contract looks great right now and will look better next year!!
    __________

    Huh? What???
    Kirk Cousins is the 2nd highest paid player in the NFL this season at 29,000,000.
    2nd only to Matthew Stafford who’ll pocket 29,500,000.
    And this is a player who has a well defined history of struggling against good teams.
    Which automatically makes his contract next year look just as bad, especially when you factor in that the Vikings are already 3 million over the salary cap.
    Oh those pesky facts.

  13. I don’t get it. How are they ever supposed to finally win their first championship with a choker like Cousins. He is the least clutch player I’ve ever seen.

  14. So he gets to the level, all he’ll get is a message saying “Thank you Kirk, but your Super Bowl ring is in another castle”.

  15. All Packer boys…….
    Rodgers is 27-27 over his last 54 starts.
    That is average abd that is a fact!

  16. He’s a manageable quarterback….pushing him to the next level will not work. He needs a cast around him. Trying to make him Aaron Rogers will prove disastrous for him and the offense. He plays his worst in pressure, next-level type situations. I watched it all too much.

  17. Can we shut up now about how much Cousins is being paid? Looks what Philly just gave to Wentz and he can’t even finish a season.

  18. With a bad OL and refusal to establish a running game, any QB becomes easy to stop. It’s kind of impressive that Cousins had the year he had, horrible coaching and team-building considered. I get that haters are going to hate the guy, but he’s a good QB. Overpaid, but capable of taking a team far if the team is well-run (which he’s never had the luxury of in the NFL).

  19. These are the facts. He had 5 INT’s on first down. He had 7 TD’s 1 INT vs GB. 4 & 1 vs Det. 3 & 2 vs Chi. In the last 2 mins of the halfs 7 TD’s 2 int’s. In Wins/Ties 15 TD 3 INT in losses 11 & 6. He had 13 TD’s @ Home & 17 on the road. He threw 10 TD’s in Sept only 2 INT’s. 8 & 3 in Dec. Oct & Nov 6 – 2 & 6-3. Those were his bad months. He was sacked 40 times.

    This stat is awesome. Inside the red zone 20 TD’s 0 INT’s. 12 TD’s from the 10 yd line to the goal. O INT’s.

    He stuck on his own 21-50 5 INT’s & from the opponents 49-20 5 INT’s.

    He’s great in the red zone. 40 sacks & 5 fumbles he needs to fix.

    These are all facts.

  20. chris1cat says:
    June 6, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    All Packer boys…….
    Rodgers is 27-27 over his last 54 starts.
    That is average abd that is a fact!

    +++++

    And yet that’s still better then Cousins career record of 34-37-2. Let that sink in!

  21. thegreatgabbert says:
    June 6, 2019 at 5:58 pm
    Now that Jay Cutler is retired someone has to take his place as the least likeable QB in the league.

    You know the one person that Rodgers got along with and defended is Cutler…

  22. What do you expect Spielman to say? Spielman’s entire GM career is best defined in one attribute, his inablity to indentify a franchise QB and Cousins is just the latest example.

    Out of all the 32 starting QB’s in the NFL, most would rank him right in the middle but the problem is that the Vikings are paying him as a top 3 QB in the league. He will never get there and more to the point, the Vikings will never win big games (playoff or otherwise) with Cousins. 2019 will again prove this very point.

  23. chris1cat says:
    June 6, 2019 at 11:22 pm

    All Packer boys…….
    Rodgers is 27-27 over his last 54 starts.
    That is average abd that is a fact!
    —————

    Ummmm, actually, he is 29-24-1 in that span. I hope you’re not including Hundley’s starts in your logic. While 29-24-1 is still not impressive. I’ll give you that. But he hasn’t dropped off statistically and he has played with 21, 22, and 26th ranked defenses those years.

  24. vikesfansarethedumbestfans says:
    June 7, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Ummmm, actually, he is 29-24-1 in that span. I hope you’re not including Hundley’s starts in your logic. While 29-24-1 is still not impressive. I’ll give you that. But he hasn’t dropped off statistically and he has played with 21, 22, and 26th ranked defenses those years.
    ___________

    You’re right about the record but you’re wrong to say Rodgers hasn’t dropped off statistically. Up through 2014, Rodgers’ career passer rating was 106.0. From 2009-2014, it was 109.0. In the last four years, his passer rating is 98.2 and he hasn’t had a single-season passer rating above his career average in that time.

    In the last two years, Rodgers’ record is 10-12-1. His passer rating is 97.5. You’re fooling yourself if you think Rodgers’ play hasn’t dropped off from his previous level the last few years.

  25. Wafflestomp:

    Kirk Cousins obviously can be a very effective QB, as long as the opposition is below. 500…

    *******

    That’s the problem all right, and while that’s good enough to sweep GB again, most Vikings fan want more.

  26. The sensitive one AR12 in gb has replaced Jay Cutler as the most unlikable QB in the NFL. When Aaron isn’t undermining his head coach to get him fired. He is making snarky comments in rebuttal because of his own inability to laugh at himself for not being able to chug a whole beer.

  27. Peter King is the source for the 27-26-1 record in Rodgers last 54 games. I hope you weren’t counting preseason wins.

  28. I feel compelled to react to all the anti-Packer sentiment on this Viking storyline, otherwise I’d leave it alone.

    If Rodgers were suddenly added to the Vikings roster, the Vikings would automatically be improved, Cousins or no Cousins. The biggest difference among all NFCN teams and their expectations for success in 2019……is still Aaron Rodgers.

  29. stellarperformance says:

    If Rodgers were suddenly added to the Vikings roster, the Vikings would automatically be improved, Cousins or no Cousins. The biggest difference among all NFCN teams and their expectations for success in 2019……is still Aaron Rodgers.
    ==============================
    Do you the delicious irony in your comments?, the Vikings had two first round picks (#7 & #18) in the 2005 draft and choose to bless the Packers with the opportunity to get Rodgers at #24. Can you imagine the Vikings fortunes if they only decided to draft the best player available?

  30. whatjusthapped says:
    June 8, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Do you the delicious irony in your comments?, the Vikings had two first round picks (#7 & #18) in the 2005 draft and choose to bless the Packers with the opportunity to get Rodgers at #24. Can you imagine the Vikings fortunes if they only decided to draft the best player available?
    ———————————

    Desperate to make this point you always leave out the Vikings had a 26 year old MVP caliber Culpepper on roster. Kind of an important point. It’s not like the Packers drafting Mandarich at #2 then Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas and Deion Sanders go right after him. Or the Packers taking Vonnie Holliday two picks before Randy Moss. Brett Favre throwing to Randy Moss. Can you imagine?

  31. Clausen and Cousins comparison comment is nothing but trolling. If you have a point make it. If not, you add nothing.4,000 plus yards 30 TD’s . And he and the Vikings believe he can play better in 2019, nobody was saying that about Clausen.

  32. stellarperformance says:
    If Rodgers were suddenly added to the Vikings roster, the Vikings would automatically be improved, Cousins or no Cousins. The biggest difference among all NFCN teams and their expectations for success in 2019……is still Aaron Rodgers.
    —–
    He either A) cant stay on the field or B) loses to divisional opponents and then send out a bunch of excuses. He had the least (1) inter divisional wins in the NFCN last year of all qbs. He doesn’t have the game or aura he had 5 years ago, it happens to every player at some point.

  33. RMoss84HOF says:
    June 8, 2019 at 5:48 pm
    He either A) cant stay on the field or B) loses to divisional opponents and then send out a bunch of excuses. He had the least (1) inter divisional wins in the NFCN last year of all qbs. He doesn’t have the game or aura he had 5 years ago, it happens to every player at some point.
    ///////////////////////

    REMINDER:

    Rodgers played eight games with a broken leg, two more with a strained hamstring, and missed the last game in concussion protocol, and still outperformed Cousins. He will easily again.

  34. stellarperformance says:
    June 8, 2019 at 6:51 pm

    REMINDER:

    Rodgers played eight games with a broken leg, two more with a strained hamstring, and missed the last game in concussion protocol, and still outperformed Cousins. He will easily again.
    ————————————

    You should have signed Case Keemun as your backup.

  35. Stella:
    So essentially you are saying Rodgers played to the detriment of his team as he selfishly played for stats only, or else why would such a great team only win 6 games. Clearly he wasn’t playing well as Cousins outdueled him twice and had more wins, better completion percentage, more touchdowns, higher QBR, and Passer Rating. But hey he did have more garbage time yards and as you have shown time and time again a league leading amount of excuses.

  36. vikesfansteve…

    so. many. stipulations. lol. just stop.

    Kirk is great on 3rd down on Sunday afternoon in the second week of the season against teams that score 10 points in the third quarter after a fumble by teams that wear red… lololol. has he won anything? have the Vikings? no? didn’t think so. and someone here had the nerve to put Kirk and mvP in the same sentence. HAHAHAHAHA!!! bruh.

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