Kwesi Adofo-Mensah: Kirk Cousins is an incredibly consistent passer

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With a guaranteed salary of $35 million, quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to remain the Vikings’ starter in 2022.

But Minnesota has a new regime with General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell who didn’t sign Cousins — though O’Connell worked with the quarterback with Washington. And the club reportedly fielded a call from the Panthers regarding Cousins’ availability.

At the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday, Adofo-Mensah noted he’s had a particularly positive first impression of Cousins since getting to the franchise in January.

“He’s an incredibly consistent passer,” Adofo-Mensah said. “I don’t think people realize that essentially every play has kind of a result baked into it, based on factors he can’t control. And I think what you know about Kirk is when the odds are shifted in his favor, he gets the most out of it. And I think people don’t appreciate that skill enough. But he’s incredibly consistent, incredibly accurate thrower. He’s tough, he’s durable. He plays every game. He stands in there and takes those hits, when those throws are a little bit harder to come by. He’s an incredible player.

“He’s cerebral. He’s one of the first phone calls I made. And one of the funny things I love about being in this job is you come in with a preconceived notion about NFL players. And then you get here and they’re just so different — they’re all just so talented. I text all my Wall Street buddies all the time, like they would take our jobs, just so we’re clear. So Kirk is no different. Just incredibly talented, smart, detailed — the level of detail in things we talked about was just incredible. I won’t share that with you guys. But he’s an incredible person and I’m excited to work with him.”

But Adofo-Mensah later added that “everything is in play,” though he said he expected Cousins to play well for Minnesota in 2022.

Cousins was a Pro Bowler for the second time in four seasons in 2021. In 16 games — he missed one while on the COVID-19 list — Cousins completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,221 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

27 responses to “Kwesi Adofo-Mensah: Kirk Cousins is an incredibly consistent passer

  1. Kwesi broke that down perfectly because Kirk led the league in passer rating when he throws it to his first read. He can run the play that’s called and he’s very accurate. Now what Kwesi didn’t mention but surely knows is that Kirk’s passer rating is one of the worst when he has to go to his second or third read. In today’s NFL, you have to be able to make plays when the play that’s called breaks down. That’s why he’s talking up Kirk and adding that everything is in play, because he’s going to do whatever he can to get some value for him in a trade.

  2. I was a fan of Kirk’s when he was in Washington. He has strengths as we can see – he will never be an improv QB and to even put him in that position is out of the question. He thrives off of play action passing so he needs a strong running game and a commitment to run. His ability to improve is documented in his career stats regardless if you care to look or not. From his time in Washington, he never had a competent defense. He could score 35 points but the defense would give up 38. The same appears to happen in Minnesota. I’m not saying he is great, but he is not the reason his teams lose. It takes an offensive coordinator who calls plays while his head is outside of his body. He can be a winner, but if he senses doubt, that does affect him whether he admits it or not. He is durable. I’m not sure he is worth the money he got in Minnesota, but he was played as a tool in Washington and he learned how to work the system as a result.

  3. Broncos new coach mentions toughness as a quality for QBs. Now Vikings GM is touting Cousins’ toughness.

    It’s like reverse tampering, trying to get the Broncos to trade for Cousins.

  4. Doesn’t matter how incredibly consistent he is, if he’s seeking $40M/yr, he incredibly selfish and out-of-touch.

  5. I think the Vikings are playing sort of a game of chicken with Kirk and the rest of the (non-elite-quarterbacked) NFL. If someone is willing to put together a crazy package to trade for him, he’s gone. If Kirk is willing to take a pay cut to stay, he stays. If neither happens, then they bite the bullet and let him play out the crazy expensive last year of his contract and move on next year.

  6. Kirk dealt with inconsistency at the Offensive coordinator position on a team with an offensively illiterate Head Coach and he still managed to make the Pro Bowl. Under an offensive-focused Head Coach don’t be surprised if Cousins dominates in a Bradyless NFL next season. Just don’t expect him to do it with the Vikings.

  7. Consistent enough to deserve another fully guaranteed contract, hopefully?

    Come on, make it happen, Queasy.
    – Packer Nation

  8. I’m not a Vikings fan and don’t really get to see many of their games here in Philly, but when I look at the numbers I have a hard time why the story on Cousins in that he’s so terrible. Compare his stats (reg season) against Rodgers over the last 4 years:

    Games missed:
    Cousins – 2
    Rodgers – 1

    Yds per game:
    Cousins – 260
    Rodgers – 263

    Completion %:
    Cousins – 68%
    Rodgers – 66%

    Avg TDs per game:
    Cousins – 2
    Rodgers – 2

    Avg INTs per game:
    Cousins – 1 (36 total)
    Rodgers – 0 (15 total)

    Ia Cousins as good as Rodgers? No. But his stats aren’t far off and there’s many teams that would love to have had that kind of consistent production. So help me understand why he’s so terrible?

  9. His statistics don’t matter.
    When a must win game shows up, he lines up behind the guard.
    He clenches his mouth tightly on every throw; I’m sure everything else is clenched too.
    He takes sacks under any pressure, doesn’t rally the troops, and I doubt players are fired up about him.
    He is not a winner, not a leader, and the Vikings are 4 seasons past a NFCGG loss and have a divisional loss to show for it.
    They won’t win a Super Bowl with Cousins, and should cut bait ASAP. That wouldn’t be soon enough because this 55 year Viking fan doesn’t even enjoy Viking games anymore, because Cousins is so plastic and rigid.
    Save us, please!

  10. Satan says:
    March 1, 2022 at 5:35 pm
    Consistent enough to deserve another fully guaranteed contract, hopefully?

    Come on, make it happen, Queasy.
    – Packer Nation
    Why would you want the Vikings to keep Cousins? Name me a single QB that is available, via free agency or draft, that would be as good or better than Cousins? Dude, you should absolutely want the Vikings to get rid of him. I mean, you aren’t ignorant to think Cousins is the reason for the Vikings troubles the last two seasons, are you? Are you?!

  11. Cousins is one of the best when it comes to stats, but when it comes to improvising and getting a win when you need it, he’s just the opposite.

  12. MossyMossApplesauce says:
    March 1, 2022 at 5:21 pm

    I think the Vikings are playing sort of a game of chicken with Kirk and the rest of the (non-elite-quarterbacked) NFL. If someone is willing to put together a crazy package to trade for him, he’s gone. If Kirk is willing to take a pay cut to stay, he stays. If neither happens, then they bite the bullet and let him play out the crazy expensive last year of his contract and move on next year.

    Why would they have to get a crazy package to trade him? What’s crazy is keeping him for one year with a $45 million cap hit. If you can reduce that number significantly you should trade him for whatever you can get. The retooling has to start now or else you’re just wasting a year. Unless you think you’re going to win a Super Bowl this year with essentially the same team as the last two years and a rookie head coach, there’s no point in keeping Kirk.

  13. @David Lavin –

    You haven’t seen many Viking games so you haven’t seen many checkdowns to the fullback on third and long. You haven’t seen a league-leading number of three-and-outs. You haven’t seen a refusal to make tight-window throws if an intended receiver isn’t wide open. You haven’t seen an inability to sign free agents to fill the holes on the roster because a top-12 quarterback is paid like a top-3 quarterback.

    Let’s just hope there’s a team out there in need of a QB that looks at those pretty stats and asks the same questions you are.

  14. He’s “terrible” because he’s a very good game-manager, but he’ll never be a game-changer. Viking Fan wants a game-changer, not more promises from coaches.

  15. David Lavin says: “So help me understand why he’s so terrible?”

    Kirk has a reputation of padding stats during garbage time. Also, in big games, he has not been an advantage, but he is often a liability

  16. It’s amazing how many people are fooled by Kurt’s stats. All you have to do is watch Kurt play the game and you understand why he’s not a winner. When teammates celebrate touchdowns, Kurt is already back on the bench with his helmet on – not because he can’t wait to get back on the field for the next drive…it’s because Kurt is aloof, doesn’t care for anything but his paycheck, and just not a leader. The Vikings would be wise, if they cannot trade him, to just ride out Kurt’s last year – surround him with the talent a selfish player like him deserves when he takes up so much cap space. Let’s see how those stats look with a 5-12 record. Zimmer was a successful coach until Ricki saddled him with Kurt.

  17. Let’s talk about reality, no one has mentioned that in Cousin’s time in Minnesota he has had four different offensive coordinators way of running the offense. That means he has had to learn their calls and their way of doing things and their way to make it tick. That in itself is impressive! If these guys can settle him down and do it their way, let’s let him roll. If he can learn 4 different offenses, let’s let him try 5.

  18. I don’t know man. I actually watched every Viking game.
    Cousins started the season great.
    First 3 games.. over 900 yards, 8 TD’s zero ints. Had Cincy and Arizona beat mostly because of him. But the defense and a missed 37 yard fg costed them and they started 1-2. There were probably 3-4 games he played poorly, a couple more average. And I’m not saying he’s great by any means… but he is good. He outplayed Stafford head to head last year. Defense was the main culprit. The need is interior O-line and pass rusher and cb’s.

  19. Stats don’t make a bit of difference if your personality is narcissistic and your a locker room pariah.

  20. 14 one possession games last year!

    Offense averaged 25 pointsxa game

    Defense gave up 25.1 points a game.

    But somehow it’s Cousins fault. I suppose it was Cousins fault he drove the team several times last year to score and take the lead only for the defense to give the game away in the final minute.

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