Cousins expects starters to play into the second quarter vs Jaguars | KFAN

posted by Aj Mansour - 

The Minnesota Vikings and starting quarterback Kirk Cousins were forced to move indoors to evade the impending lightning storm that befell Eagan in order to carry on the final practice of training camp, before moving outdoors again once the conditions had cleared.

Cousins joined the 'Bumper to Bumper with Dan Barreiro' program at the TCO Performance Center to tie a bow on training camp, and discuss what he's looking for as regular practices and preseason games commence in the lead up to the regular season.

Minnesota's new quarterback has found his place in the locker room by strapping on the same demeanor and work ethic every day. Cousins referred to the approach as his way to avoid becoming complacent—a good player's greatest weakness—and to justify one's own self of being worthy of not only leadership, but vocal leadership—a new player's greatest hurdle.

"I just come out here and work with the same mindset that I have every day … psychologically, the situation which I'm in could start to cause comfort, complacency, and more, so I try to come out here every day and fight that."

Cousins was the second of two quarterbacks Washington chose in the 2012 NFL Draft—selected in the fourth round, 102nd overall—and for three years heard time and time again why he shouldn't start over and/or wasn't better than the No. 2 overall pick in Cousins' same draft class, Robert Griffin III.

As always, Minnesota's new quarterback says he won't let his reputation in and outside NFL circles change the way he does his own business.

"[My attitude and work ethic] has gotten me to here, why would I change it?" Cousins said. "Regardless of the outside perception … for every one opinion that says I deserve what I get, there's another that will say I do not … it's the same story entering into a different altitude, if you will."

The Vikings defense, however, is a different story compared to the one that backed up what Cousins and the offense in Washington.

Minnesota's defense realistically and conceivably could rank in the top-5 for points and YPG (yards per game) allowed over the entirety of Cousins' three-year contract, considering how many of their young starts they have under contract through that term.

That's wholly different than Cousins' Washington defenses, which finished in the bottom third of the league every season he was there.

Cousins, however, doesn't believe that having a good defense on his side meant he should implement more risk-taking into his decision-making on offense.

"My decision-making will be really important … [I have to] process that as I drop back, knowing that I won't need a lot of pass plays through the air to win the game," Cousins said. "I have to judge it game-to-game, week-to-week … no doubt I'll feel what's going on, and play the game accordingly. It will still be about limiting mistakes and being aware of what's going on."

For Cousins, it's not about increased risk-taking in such an appreciable situation, but instead preserving those early leads that Cousins expects to be provided with by Minnesota's defense when regular season games begin.

As the team moves forward to Saturday's second preseason game at 12 p.m. versus the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cousins expects the gameplan to revolve around first-team offense staying smart and not exposing more than it has to.

He said he expects the first team to play into the second quarter.

Then, in final jest, Cousins said, "If [Zimmer and DeFilippo] ask me to go out there for the third quarter, then I'd be up for it."

Joe Perovich is an on-air announcer and writer at KFAN, and can be reached on Twitter (@JoePerovich) or by email (JoePerovich@iheartmedia.com)

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