Let’s Stop Trying to Create Controversy When Kirk Cousins Is Mentioned
The Minnesota Vikings have completed two days of training camp practices, and there is a positive energy that is flowing throughout TCO Performance Center. You can feel it when head coach Kevin O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah speak, as players appear looser in clips released by the team.
Yet somehow, quarterback Kirk Cousins has still managed to create a stir in the media. It’s not due to anything he has said or done. Hell, it’s not even the product of malice from his colleagues. But when someone mentions Cousins, critics try reading between the lines, looking for any evidence that he’s not wanted in Minnesota.
It started when a USA Today story on Adofo-Mensah dropped right before the Vikings reported to training camp this week. While explaining his team-building philosophy, Kwesi mentioned that the Vikings “don’t have Tom Brady” while also adding, “we don’t have Pat(rick) Mahomes.” Groundbreaking news? Hardly.
Then, on Thursday night, Chris Tomasson of The Pioneer Press shared a tweet regarding Kirk’s decision not to fly down to Florida to train with his receivers, including Justin Jefferson.
While many brushed this off as a non-story, critics of Cousins ran with this tweet. They believed it reinforced substandard and requisite leadership qualities. Later, Jefferson took to Twitter, defending the quarterback that so many believe he despises.
I’m not going to sit here and try making you a Cousins believer. In fact, yours truly had a meltdown on Draft Night 2021 when the Chicago Bears jumped in front of the Vikings and snagged quarterback Justin Fields. I liked and still like Cousins but believed a new-school talent like Fields could benefit the team. Can he be great? Yes. Can he be frustrating at times? Yes, he can.
But does this mean we have to pick apart every quote from everyone in the organization whenever Cousins’ name is brought up? No one ever claimed he was in Brady or Mahomes’ class. Even Kirk has previously acknowledged that he needs to improve to take his game to the next level. If he takes offense to Kwesi’s remarks, he has bigger issues to deal with.
And as far as the Jefferson quote, it’s the offseason. We don’t always think about it, but these players have families. As much as we would like to believe that Kirk would exhaust every opportunity to build a rapport with his teammates, these players sometimes need a break away from the game. Even if Jefferson were to have an issue with Kirk not training with him in South Florida, he’s only entering his third year. Kirk is going into his 11th. He has a wife and kids and probably has a better grasp of handling the off-season before the grind of training camp and the regular season.
So, let’s just enjoy that football is back. There’s a new head coach with a new offensive system in place. Enjoy the excitement of that and not hang on every word that is spoken about Kirk Daniel Cousins.