It was a tumultuous week for Vikings fans regarding meaningless reports about Kirk Cousins. Two main things dominated the Vikings’ press and social media.
Cousins Is Not Brady
The first was Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the general manager, talking about his quarterback. He said: “we don’t have Tom Brady…and we don’t have Pat[rick] Mahomes.” While it might not be smart to say that out loud in that position, it’s also not newsworthy. Every NFL fan, even hardcore Cousins defenders, knows he is not on the level of those two exceptional players.
He added that it “is more likely to win [a Super Bowl] if you have that quarterback.” Of course, winning the big game with an elite, all-time great passer is easier. However, the Super Bowl can also be won with Matthew Stafford, Nick Foles, and Joe Flacco. All three won a ring in the last decade. Peyton Manning, an all-time great but still playing on his last leg, also won the Lombardi Trophy when the Broncos defense carried him.
Those quotes went viral, however, and all media outlets brought a story about it. Adofo-Mensah didn’t say anything that is not correct, and the whole wide world knows that his comments weren’t a shot at Cousins, but a true analysis of the situation, instead. He also added that the Vikings have “a good quarterback.”
The next discourse happened after a quote from Justin Jefferson went viral.
Cousins could’ve gone there. However, blaming him for not traveling across the country for a multi-day trip to throw passes for a couple of hours with receivers he already has a connection to is just strange. Once again, it’s a completely meaningless and media-driven conversation.
The real news should be something different. Kirk Cousins looks “sharp” at the start of Vikings training camp. Multiple reports suggest that he is in great shape and is already comfortable with the playbook. The most important thing for the Vikings passer in the offseason was to thoroughly learn the playbook, and he did that. It’s much more important than a few more passes with Jefferson. Will Ragatz wrote the following in his day 3 recap of training camp:
Kirk Cousins looked sharp. He completed nearly all his passes in 7-on-7 drills, delivering the ball accurately and with good timing. While the Vikings were running 7s in the low red zone, Cousins had a three-throw sequence where he hit Irv Smith Jr. for a touchdown up the middle, Justin Jefferson for a touchdown in the back corner of the end zone, and Adam Thielen for a touchdown on a crossing route.
– Will Ragatz | SI.com
A sharp Cousins is what Vikings fans remember from recent camps. He found a good way to be in shape once camp starts. Pass timing can be off at times after a long period away from the team, so it’s good that he already got his timing back. Accuracy, meanwhile, has never been his problem in his career. Accurate Cousins passes are not a big deal in 2022.
Cousins will enter a big season. He has to show his GM, after the Brady/Mahomes comment, that he is not easy to replace and can play at their level under the right circumstances. Kevin O’Connell, the head coach, is implementing a new offense. There is not much known about the new system at this point. However, the assumption is that more passes will be thrown in a hopefully prolific offense. The usage of motion, and more sets with three wideouts, possibly unleash the unit to its full potential. Nothing groundbreaking has happened in the Vikings training camp yet, but it’s certainly noteworthy that Cousins, the quarterback, already looks in midseason form and is comfortable with the new playbook.
Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt