Kevin O’Connell touts the natural accuracy of Kirk Cousins

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Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has proven that he’s a very shrewd businessman. He’s also a pretty good passer, at least when a play is unfolding as designed.

Visiting with PFT Live at the Scouting Combine, Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the positive attributes of Cousins.

“I really do believe having attempted to play quarterback in this league myself and not ultimately achieving that goal because of the fact I wasn’t accurate enough as a quarterback,” O’Connell said. “I think the number one for me now that I look at veteran quarterbacks, rookie quarterbacks, I evaluate them throughout any process is they need to be naturally accurate. Kirk is that. Kirk is one of the naturally accurate passers in this league. He does not need to think about throwing the football, being accurate, where he wants to place the ball. He naturally does it in the rhythm and timing of any offense he’s ever been in. That’s really been one of his traits that’s allowed him to have a lot of success.”

O’Connell sees other positives about Cousins.

“I think he’s tough,” O’Connell said. “I think he’s durable. I think he leads in his own way that he’s really become comfortable with throughout his career as he’s gained more experience and stepped into a lot of different huddles with a lot of teammates in multiple spots. Watching him here with this group and when you really start to turn on the tape and watch the level of quarterback at which he’s played it’s about continuing to refine and have him continue to grow within the system we’re going to build for him and the rest of our offensive players, both up front, the skill players. There’s a really good group to work with here. The sky’s the limit as far as how you want to play offense with the type of talent we have on that side of the ball. Kirk’s going to be a huge part of it. He’s our quarterback. I feel really good about his fit in building something and being a part of building something that we want to be as an offense here in Minnesota.”

It’s good that O’Connell believes so strongly in Cousins. And O’Connell’s assessment isn’t necessarily off the mark. But there’s a ceiling on Cousins. One year after another, that ceiling becomes more firm and solidified. At a certain point, it’s not about what a guy can become. He has become who he is.

That doesn’t mean Cousins can’t win. But he, unlike the true, short-list franchise quarterbacks, need more around him. A crippling defense, which he doesn’t currently have. Solid receivers and running backs, which he does have. An offensive line that allows him to run the play that’s called, which he desperately needs.

48 responses to “Kevin O’Connell touts the natural accuracy of Kirk Cousins

  1. Yep, if 21 of the other 22 pieces are in place, Kirk can win for you.
    Most of the time.

  2. Ya he’s accurate, to say he won’t win you a playoff game or probably won’t even get what you want. That’s pretty accurate

  3. The guy does throw a good ball… he’s just risk adverse, a bad leader and hears foot steps after getting hit.

  4. How many playoff games has he won since they’ve been there? They’ve had some good teams with the exception of Cousins whose best attribute is finding a team dumb enough to give him a truckload of money. I don’t know why they’d entertain giving him another contract.

  5. Kirk Cousins has been successful with one thing during his tenure with the Minnesota Vikings..and that’s take massive amounts of the Wilf’s money with very little in return.

  6. While Cousins in no first round HOF player, speaking strictly business wise, he might be the smartest man to ever play this game. I know a lot of people don’t like that but he’s played the business side of this game so brilliantly that every year he always seems to have all the leverage with his contract, and this offseason is no exception

  7. I thought O’Connell was smarter than this. he will be asking do you want fries with that in three years if he hitches up to Cousins.

  8. I think all of you people that put down Kirk Cousins are crazy. First of all the guy has had at least eight different offensive coordinators between here (Minnesota) and Washington-that’s like having to learn a new language almost every year, no matter how much money you’re paid that’s a hard thing to do. Secondly Zimmer’s defense is ranked at the bottom in virtually every category so the defense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain to say the least. Lastly despite having a poor offensive line Cousins has managed not only to do well but also survive and stay healthy and play game after game. Get off Cousins back-sit back and enjoy what is about to be for the Minnesota Vikings!

  9. Yep, he’s trying hard to sell two first rounders for him or a first and a second.

  10. He’s great if everything around him is going great. He’s tense and skittish when things go off track. Watch the film, even when he pulls off game winning drives he is all geeked up! He’s nervous and tense. He does not project a sense of calm and confidence. He’s a really accurate passer and really good at times but not good enough to overcome what he takes up in salary. Now that he’s set for life he should be willing to take a little less in order to win. To win he needs great players around him, but the team can’t afford them with him taking so much. He needs to decide whether he wants to win.

  11. So how is it that a guy with all of these positive attributes has achieved so little? Well,unless you look at his bank account…

  12. Problem is he isn’t naturally a leader or a gutsy QB who wants the ball in his hands in high pressure situations and who is willing to make the tough throws. He’s only naturally accurate when he throws short on 3rd and 8 to set up the punt.

  13. The all time low bar for taking so much and returning so little: Sam Bradford. By that standard, Cousins has been a bargain.

  14. He is like Carr for the Raiders, an “entertainment” passer for the tv networks but hasnt done anything but win one playoff game, which Carr still hasnt done …

  15. He’s a game-manager, not a game-changer. He’s a good game-manager.

  16. Naturally accurate and durable? OK, so you’re cool with him dinking around in the pocket slapping the ball while looking for someone to throw the ball to which ends up with him getting sacked often? If he gets sacked a lot because of his slow release and slow reaction time, that explains the higher natural accuracy. Also, if he spends a lot of time on his back that explains how he keeps the interceptions to a low number, but he’ll have to be durable to sustain getting hit often. In the coach’s eyes, Cousins is a great quarterback. If the Vikings keep Cousins, look forward to many more 8-9 seasons to come.

  17. Cousins…..the only QB in the league that simultaneously gets no credit for a high scoring offense, and takes the blame for a 30th ranked defense.

  18. In a clean pocket Cousins is as good as anybody, it’s when he’s under pressure that he messes up. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a good pocket presence.

  19. He is most accurate with signing massive guaranteed contracts, then way under-earning them. Vikings latest victim.

  20. Zimmer had a 38% win rate against teams with a winning record prior to Cousins and a 21% win rate with him. Simply put Cousins skill can’t over come the financial limitations his contract places on the team.

  21. When certain players siphon the max from a team at every opportunity,it’s called brilliant business sense. When certain other players do the same, it’s called greedy and selfish.

  22. pzebich says:
    March 6, 2022 at 9:11 am
    In a clean pocket Cousins is as good as anybody, it’s when he’s under pressure that he messes up.
    ///////
    Ummmmm….Cousins ranked 4th in the NFL for QB’s when under pressure. Yep. So, now what say you?

  23. KnowsMoreThanYou says:
    March 6, 2022 at 5:28 pm
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    pzebich says: March 6, 2022 at 9:11 am In a clean pocket Cousins is as good as anybody, it’s when he’s under pressure that he messes up. /////// Ummmmm….Cousins ranked 4th in the NFL for QB’s when under pressure. Yep. So, now what say you?
    ///////
    Wait. That must be a fluke. What about 2020? Cousins ranked 8th. 2019? 4th again.

  24. warpumpkin115 says:
    March 6, 2022 at 8:11 am
    Naturally accurate and durable? OK, so you’re cool with him dinking around in the pocket slapping the ball while looking for someone to throw the ball to which ends up with him getting sacked often?
    /////////
    23 QB’s got sacked more than Cousins last year. 23! Seriously, it’s almost as if you guys have no clue what you’re talking about! It’s getting embarrassing with all the correcting I have to do here.

  25. bradygirl12 says:
    March 5, 2022 at 9:30 pm
    So how is it that a guy with all of these positive attributes has achieved so little?
    ///////////
    I’d say the answer lies within the horrible defenses he has played with, and perhaps the fact that he has had about 8 different OC’s and playbooks the last 8 years.

  26. kevin7777777 says:
    March 5, 2022 at 9:13 pm
    He’s great if everything around him is going great. He’s tense and skittish when things go off track. Watch the film, even when he pulls off game winning drives he is all geeked up! He’s nervous and tense.
    ///////
    Very strange comment. “Even when he pulls off game winning drives…”. Now I have heard it all. Cousins taking criticism for game winning drives. Oh boy…

  27. rachelfootball says:
    March 5, 2022 at 7:46 pm
    I thought O’Connell was smarter than this. he will be asking do you want fries with that in three years if he hitches up to Cousins.
    //////
    He’s the Coach, not the GM. He will “hitch up” to whomever is the QB on the roster. And, judging by the stories that have come out about Zimmer, it’s kind of nice for the HC to actually have the starting QB’s back.

  28. itsamadmadmadmadworld says:
    March 5, 2022 at 7:04 pm
    How many playoff games has he won since they’ve been there? They’ve had some good teams with the exception of Cousins
    /////////
    The last two defenses have ranked near the bottom of the NFL. Meanwhile, Cousins has ranked in the top 10 in almost every QB category. I mean, it’s just that, you’re completely wrong.

  29. Cousins doesnt have “it”. Hes accurate and has excellent stats, but he is lacking in intangibles. Im not sure if its leadership, moxy, or whatever….all I know is when I watch him play, I am uninspired. Hes not the guy who can you to a championship, much less win it. Vikings probably have to keep him another year, but after that, they need to look at other options.

  30. I would extend him for 3 years, push his signing bonus out to create cap space, and do an “all in” approach for the next two seasons. He’s “good enough” to win a Superbowl with the right team around him. So what if he doesn’t improvise well when the play breaks down, just give him enough on schedule plays to score 31pts per game. Draft a few lineman, a few edge rushers and corners and lets go!

  31. Even as a generally favorable fan of Kirk Cousins, I believe he has a career as a professional sports agent – no one has commanded more dollars on a career that was better than the Great Gimmick in Washington as a comparison.

  32. GM’s are experienced businessmen, it is not that he gets to negotiate with someone not knowledgeable, if you look at his contract he played for 20 mil this past season.

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