MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Kirk Cousins has had a busy offseason.
It’s included some time with Fran Tarkenton in Atlanta to talk quarterback, and some time last week at the Final Four in Minneapolis to watch his team, Michigan State, now playing in his town at his stadium.
“I thought the Twin Cities did a great job hosting and it was a great venue,” Cousins said. “I had always wanted to go to a Final Four, and I think the stars aligned to have it be in my home city with my alma mater playing there, so it was a lot of fun for me and my dad to be there and take that in.”
He’s also had plenty of time to look back to last season, and to analytically decide what needs to change.
“If the other metrics are all there like they were last year, but then the explosive plays are higher … I think that will be a very telling thing,” Cousins said.
Part of that comes from a new coach to oversee it. Gary Kubiak is in, and he’s familiar with Cousins conceptually and what he wants.
“He’s a great coach. His track record says it all, and, you know, [offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski] will work really well with him, and I think it will help all of us,” he said.
The offense has to be more balanced and the offensive line is a key. It has to have a different rhythm, and getting there is as much art as it is science.
“If you run the football well, have it marry with your play-action game so that the defense doesn’t know what’s coming, you can slow down the pass rush, you can create some open windows down the field for those explosive plays, you can stay out of third down,” he said.
And then there is the experience factor. This is Cousins’ second year in a system, in the same city.
“Just like any of you who have worked somewhere for several years, your second year there, you’re probably more comfortable than you first year,” Cousins said. “I don’t know how to articulate that, but whatever the words are that would sum that up is what I feel going into year two.”