By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We know Kirk Cousins will be the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings this fall, but we’ve also seen how valuable he can be in certain circumstances.

Enter Sean Mannion, brought in from the Rams to serve as a back up and be ready for the more uncertain moments.

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It’s an interesting life as a back-up quarterback, working in practice with a purpose, because it might be your only playing time.

Mannion said he is “just continuing to develop, just taking a really intentional approach to every play that you’re going to practice, every rep. Some of the stuff we’re doing post-practice.”

The Vikings understand well the importance of the back-up. Remember a guy named Case Keenum? They saw some of that in Mannion.

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“I see a bro. Sean, again, enjoyed being around him. He came from a successful program the last few years there,” offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski said. “He’s really a guy that fits in extremely well.”

Part of his job is to support the starter. That comes with territory. And part of Cousins’ job is to support his back-up.

“Really strong arm, really accurate, works very hard, has a great understanding of the system,” Cousins said. “I just think he’s one of those players like many of us in the league, we just need our chance.”

But right now it’s simple: play hard, be a good teammate, and build the most important ingredient.

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“Trust is the most important thing,” Mannion said. “When I let that ball go, I can trust that he’s going to run through it and know where he’s going to be, and he can trust that when he’s breaking in, that ball’s on its way.”

Mike Max