In Defense of Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins
Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks on prior to the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

For years the quarterback position has been known as the most important in all of sports, and in 2021, it may be more important than ever. These days so much responsibility is placed on the quarterback position that it is easy to overlook the strengths of many at the position because they may have that one glaring weakness. It’s almost as if perfection is expected. This is where my defense of Kirk Cousins begins.

We as Vikings fans want the perfect quarterback. We harp on Cousins and his lack of big game performances, or his lack of leadership, in terms of shying away from taking the reins of the offense away from his coaches. The criticism is unjust. Cousins’ statistics are top notch, he doesn’t turn the ball over, he’s not a diva quarterback, and most importantly, he is a true professional. That last part is crucial. His professionalism is what often leads to the critiques. Cousins is the type to do his job, and he does that very well, and we should appreciate that.

The Vikings organization has seldom had a quarterback as reliable as Cousins, not just production wise, but off the field as well. He shows up to meetings on time, he defends his teammates, he listens to coaching, he is good with the media, and he is consistent on the field, with both his strengths and weaknesses.

The criticism that Vikings fans send his way is unfortunately because those around him may not be doing their part, and the expectation becomes that the quarterback, being the most important player on the field, needs to make up for it. That is unorthodox for a true professional. He’s not going to step on someone else’s toes, let alone a teammate or a coach. He’ll control what he can control and always point the finger at himself first and foremost because it is not his job to point it at anyone else. His job is to execute. To execute the play call that is coming in from coaches, and to execute the play. This year, he’s even been asked to do better at executing leadership through showing emotion towards his teammates, and he’s done that too.

The 2021 Minnesota Vikings clearly have some glaring weaknesses that even a fan can point out. Although Cousins makes a lot of money, it is above his pay grade to be responsible for pointing those out and fixing them. There are people put in positions of power specifically designed to take care of that, and they’re the ones not coming through. I understand the frustration coming from fans who wish he would take chances and throw the ball down the field or change up a play call. But we have to realize that the frustration stems from someone not directing Cousins to do that, because if he was told to throw into double coverage to Justin Jefferson, Cousins, being the good employee that he is, would do what his superior tells him to do. Kirk can be very much like a robot, which understandably so could be viewed as a weakness, but could also be a huge asset when said robot is put in positions to succeed.

Vikings fans, just think about it, if it were the other way around and Cousins was constantly turning the ball over and throwing into double coverage rather than the check down that was there for him, we wouldn’t blame the coaching, we would put the blame directly on the quarterback. So with that being said, it is time to realize the type of quarterback that is under center for the Minnesota Vikings, and wonder why he, along with several other pro bowl weapons, are still not succeeding when it matters most. Kirk is not the problem, and it’s time we admit that he’s just the easiest target to blame because of his title.

When we actually measure how he handles the responsibilities under a quarterback’s title through statistics, he’s actually doing a pretty good job.