Kirk Cousins addressed the media Friday afternoon from TCO Performance Center. During his press conference, Cousins addressed some of the negatives and positives of having a shortened offseason.
Although the Vikings technically have a new offensive coordinator heading into 2020, Cousins talked about the luxury of having some continuity coming over from last season.
"Continuity always helps, especially at my position,” Cousins said. “It helps to have a similar offense. It's going to be the 5th voice in my headset in five seasons."
Gary Kubiak has replaced Kevin Stefanski in that role this season, but he had a powerful voice in the Vikings offense last season. There will still be some transition, but it shouldn’t be as big of a gap as what Cousins has seen throughout his career.
The Vikings are known for being a run-first team, but Cousins said he wants to be able to take control of the game if the run game isn’t working.
“One of the focuses for me this season will be to, if we’re not running the ball well and things aren’t going well, to make those plays that can get us right back in a game and win,” Cousins said. “You saw it last year in the Denver game.”
Over the last two years in Minnesota, Cousins has gotten some criticism for his lack of scrambling. More and more quarterbacks are entering the league with game changing ability with their legs and Cousins addressed the fact that he needs to do so more.
“If we get man coverage and the pocket breaks down, being ready to take off and run and become more of a scrambler. If we’re off schedule, (I need to) get out of the pocket and make a play that’s kind of drawn up in the dirt,” Cousins said. “That’s just one place to begin but I think that’s probably the biggest place to focus.”
Getting Cousins outside of the pocket on designed play-actions was one of the strong suits for the Vikings offense last season. If he can do so off script, it would likely create a lot more downfield plays for the Viking’s receivers.
Those Vikings receivers are a group that Cousins has a lot of faith in and believes they have more depth than they are getting credit for.
“I feel strongly about it, I think we have a lot of depth,” Cousins said. “I feel we have a good quality group at the receiver position.”
He touched on how it helped having Dillon Mitchell and Alexander Hollins on the practice squad last season. It’s important to have athletic receivers that know their jobs within the offense and Cousins said their receiving group has both.
Cousins is coming off arguably his best season in the NFL where he threw for 3,603 yards, 26 touchdowns and a rating of 107.4. In order for the Vikings to get over the hump he will have to continue to be the best quarterback the team has had in the last decade.