The Vikings’ QB Brain Trust Needs a Chance
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Whether the Minnesota Vikings bring back Kirk Cousins or not, the reality is that there needs to be a long-term succession plan at the position. For a young head coach and now another confidant to lean on, the coaching staff needs a chance to develop their guy.

The Vikings’ QB Brain Trust Needs a Chance

When the Minnesota Vikings used a fifth-round draft pick on former BYU signal caller Jaren Hall, there wasn’t much that followed in the form of expectations. Sure, Hall had a solid collegiate career and had experienced significant success on a much lesser level. He was coming to the pros with a ceiling of a career backup, and developing into much more than that would take a substantial change in the traditional expectations from his draft slot.

Brain Trust Needs
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Then, he was forced into action much faster than anticipated due to an injury and poor quarterback play ahead of him. Despite both Josh Dobbs and Nick Mullens looking lackluster throughout their exposure for the Vikings, it was evident that Hall represented an even lesser option. That should be expected given the development that took place, but it’s also not reflective of the coaching staff around him.

As a former quarterback, Kevin O’Connell has plenty of experience to speak into the position. Teaming up with Josh McCown as the new quarterbacks coach, Minnesota has a plethora of progressive-thinking youth that should be expected to help mold a talented quarterback. Maybe Hall represents that at some point, but the more likely probability is that he never reaches that stage.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

With a quarterback draft so flush with options, the Vikings must grab someone the pair think they can mold. It would take a substantial move to grab one of the top three quarterbacks, but their development arc should also be much more straightforward. Adding someone like J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr., or Spencer Rattler figures to take more time, but O’Connell and McCown could help to get the best out of any of those players.

Nothing Cousins has done in a Vikings uniform has been reflective of development. He is largely a finished product that now succeeds based on the opportunities around him. Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and T.J. Hockenson will be there for anyone who steps in, but those players must figure out how to be the best version of themselves prior to getting the most out of their teammates. In that reality, allowing the staff to mold a young talent stands out.

Even in a Down
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

With a strong support system in place and plenty of playmaking talent around them, it’s hard not to get excited about the prospects of a young prospect being given a chance. The Vikings haven’t gone down this path since Teddy Bridgewater, which was stunted before it ever got going. Before that, you’d have to go back to the days of Daunte Culpepper, and the timeline there is crazy to think about.

Give O’Connell and McCown something to work with, then watch them go at it in the kitchen.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.