Netflix QB Show with Cousins is a Fascinating Watch & Jim Marshall to Hall of Fame is Long Overdue 

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I’ve always been a fan of the work NFL Films does in their outstanding game footage with players and coaches mic’d up. The Netflix QB show featuring Kirk Cousins, Patrick Mahomes, and Marcus Mariota during the 2022 season may be the best I’ve seen of this type of presentation. 

The Netflix QB Show and Kirk Cousins

Quarterback is produced and narrated by Peyton Manning and the beauty of it is the three QBs are at different levels in their careers as they talk about the challenges and joy of being an NFL quarterback. It’s also interesting to see them off the field with their families, see video of their formative years, and hear their wives talk about the highs and lows of their husbands’ jobs.  

3 Takeaways from Vikings
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) runs onto the field before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Mahomes is the best QB and best overall player in the game with two Super Bowl titles and two league MVP awards. Cousins is a very good QB who is coming off a great regular season with eight come-from-behind victories (many of which are showcased in the show’s eight episodes) but his season ended in a terrible 4th-down checkdown in the playoff loss to the Giants. Cousins continues to try and ascend to elite status via a big postseason run that has eluded him with only one career playoff win. Mariota played for his third team in Atlanta last season and lost his starting job during the season to Desmond Ridder and now is backing up Jalen Hurts in Philadelphia. 

I loved the early episodes with Cousins’ very candid comments about going from the exciting season opening win over the Packers to a difficult road loss the next week on Monday night in Philly and how he and the team had to quickly refocus so the Eagles loss didn’t carry over.  

Aug 11, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates his touchdown pass to wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) (not pictured ) in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Broncos Stadium at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

The segment at Cousins’ home after the Week 3 win over the Lions was especially interesting to hear Cousins reflect on missing an open K.J. Osborn even though he wound up hitting Osborn for the game-winning TD. “It was such a good play design and such a good play call,” Cousins said. “Man, when you miss ones like that it just, it eats at you. I’m still on a quest to try to figure out how do I fulfill my potential as a player and a person while not driving myself crazy with the standard I’m asking. It can be a miserable place to live because you’re never going to be perfect and when you set that as your standard, you kind of set yourself up for failure.”  

I certainly applaud Cousins for such candor, which makes the show more realistic. He comes across as very likeable so it’s another good image-builder for him along with his Kirko Chainz evolution last season. Mahomes and Mariota make similar observations of the difficulty of playing quarterback in the NFL (which Manning says is the toughest position in sports and he’s right about that).  

The games for Cousins in Washington and Buffalo last season were a highlight to see the passion with which he plays, the pain he went through in absorbing huge hits to the ribs in both of those games, and the ultimate triumph in rallying the team to those victories. It was fun to relive the 4th-and-18 throw and play-of-the-year catch by Justin Jefferson to keep the Bills game alive. And Cousins’ interaction with Coach Kevin O’Connell in that game also was interesting to observe as O’Connell questioned Cousins’ decision to run an unsuccessful QB sneak late in the game. O’Connell also heaped praise on Cousins in other segments of the show. Seeing how Cousins prepares his body each week with a cold pool and chiropractor sessions is revealing.   

Want to Leave
Dec 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) yells out before the snap during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

It was fascinating to see Mahomes doing drills with his personal trainer and QB coach to practice contorting his body to make the incredible sidearm, off-schedule throws that have become part of his mystique and status as an all-time great QB. And his passion for the game comes through in the early episodes with footage from intense games against the Raiders and Bills.   

I can definitely relate on a different level to the highs and lows of life in the NFL and pro sports as the players portray so well in this show. It’s a roller coaster that I rode in my NFL management career. I loved the intense competition during my years with the Vikings and Titans and I’m grateful for 28 years working in the best sports league in America, including 23 years with my home town team—the Vikings.  

Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

It always was a challenge for me to move onto the next game (especially after a loss and playoff losses were the toughest to get over…I still haven’t gotten over our 1998 team blowing a 13-point first half lead and losing in overtime to the Falcons in the NFC title game with a Super Bowl trip so close). Yet one year later I was in the Super Bowl with the Titans where we suffered a last-second loss to the Rams but at least we got to the big game that year.  

I encourage everyone to check out this show for a great inside look at the life of an NFL quarterback and to see the further emergence of Cousins’ personality and passion for the game. 

On Jim Marshall and the Pro Football Hall of Fame: 

I’m happy for a great guy in Jim Marshall that he was named one of 60 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame class of 2024 in the Seniors category. 12 candidates will be advanced on July 27 before they are voted on for ultimate enshrinement so Jim has a ways to go. But it’s long overdue that Marshall should join so many of his Vikings teammates of the 1960s and 1970s in Canton.  

Marshall had 139.5 career sacks and amazingly never missed a game in 19 seasons with the Vikings (289 straight games including 19 playoff games). He was the defensive captain and a tremendous leader as Coach Bud Grant always pointed out. In fact, the first time I ever saw Bud cry was at Jim’s retirement press conference. That’s how much respect and admiration he had for Jim Marshall.  

J.J. and his ESPY: 

Jefferson deservedly received the ESPY award this week for Play of the Year with his phenomenal 4th-and-18 catch in the Buffalo game (which is tied in my view for best all-time catch with David Tyree’s helmet reception that led to the Giants upset win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII). It was nice to hear Justin give credit to his family for their support over the years and he let everyone know “there’s more to come.” That’s exciting for the Vikings and their fans to hear.   

Jeff Diamond is a former Vikings GM, former Tennessee Titans President and was selected NFL Executive of the Year after the Vikings’ 15-1 season in 1998. He now works for the NFL agent group IFA based in Minneapolis and does other sports consulting and media work along with college/corporate speaking. Follow him and direct message him on Twitter– @jeffdiamondnfl