There is at least one person who believes that Kirk Cousins will be very good in 2022.
One-time Vikings linebacker Ben Leber, who now covers the team as a sideline reporter for radio broadcasts, believes the Minnesota quarterback will excel under a different head coach, Kevin O’Connell.
“I think he’s gonna finally thrive, really thrive, in a system and a coach that actually respects him,” Leber told Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio.
Having spent time on the team’s roster for years, Leber feels Mike Zimmer was at odds with having Cousins as his QB in the first place.
“I mean, It’s not like I’m not breaking news here that Mike Zimmer did not like Kirk Cousins. And I think that showed in the way that Kirk behaved and the way that he carried himself. The team was never given to him, or he was never allowed to earn the trust of the team because the head coach, I think, just didn’t like him.”
Leber put the fault on the Vikings’ defense the last few years than Cousins, who threw 68 touchdown passes and just 20 interceptions. The team went just 15-18.
“That was a top-10 offense last year, with a very green, first-time offensive coordinator [Klint Kubiak],” Leber said. “Where was their defense ranked last year? Thirty-first. The year before that, I think they were ranked 27th. So people can rail on Kirk and rail on this offense and say we can’t win with him or we can’t win with this offense. I say that’s total BS.”
He continued, “We couldn’t win with the crap defense that we’ve had the last two years. We couldn’t stop the run, at all. Ever. And then in key moments of the games . . . we couldn’t stop any two-minute offense. So, to me, the biggest liability of this team has been defense. All this team has to do is play good team defense, finish in the mid-teens at the end of the season, and they’re playoff bound, and they can make some noise.”
Cousins joined the Vikings in 2018 on a then-historic fully guaranteed deal.
He and Zimmer finished with a combined four-year record of 33-31 and made the playoffs just once.
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