Surprise: Kirk Cousins is Not Brett Favre

AP PHOTO – BRUCE KLUCKHOHN

Hello Minnesota Vikings fans, happy Monday. It’s a new week, so naturally, we were overdue for another controversial day of infighting over our starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins. The spark that lit this week’s fuse?

Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk.com) wrote a blog based on his interview with Denver Broncos general manager, George Paton, formerly a decade-long assistant GM for the Vikings. This offseason, in case you didn’t hear, Paton traded the Broncos’ future for Russell Wilson.

In his chat with Florio, George compared Wilson’s early presence and lift, inside the Denver locker room, to that of another free agent quarterback signed one memorable offseason while Paton was in Minnesota. Not 2018 Kirk Cousins, but 2009 Brett Favre.

Back in 2009, George Paton was the Vikings’ director of player personnel. He would get promoted to assistant GM in 2012, when his long-time friend and colleague, Rick Spielman, is named general manager (and undisputed top dog in the Vikings hierarchy). Paton was in Minnesota for Favre, McNabb, Ponder, Teddy, Keenum and Cousins. He saw it all.

No mention of Kirk Cousins

Florio was taken aback by Paton’s blatant disregard of Kirk Cousins’ locker room presence. But why? Are we surprised that Cousins didn’t immediately lift the Minnesota Vikings locker room in the same way Brett Favre once did? I mean… that isn’t news.

We’ve heard all the stories of Favre’s arrival in Minneapolis and how quickly his teammates bought into and trusted his leadership. From locker room shenanigans to in-huddle dominance, Favre was the ultimate teammate. He was the type of leader who doesn’t come around often. That’s part of why he owns a Super Bowl and multiple league MVP’s.

Kirk Cousins, on the other hand, has NEVER had that type of intangible reputation. It’s been well-documented that he struggles to grab control of a locker room in the way many great QB’s have. Hell, his voice cracks when he tries to talk to loud.

Remember when Kyle Rudolph wrote a manifesto about his time in Minnesota, thanking just about everyone ever involved with the franchise? Thousands of words and not one mention Kirk Cousins, who played QB and threw him footballs nearly half of his career with the Vikings.

Kirk is who we know he is

Whether Florio wants to admit it or not, we knew who Kirk Cousins was long before Mr. PFT chatted with George Paton over the weekend. He isn’t Brett Favre and he may not even be Russell Wilson. Kirk’s a capable pocket passer who can look really good if you give him consistent time in the pocket. Want a confident locker room leader? Find someone else.

Under Kevin O’Connell, Kirk could very well take another step forward, much like Matt Stafford did in 2021-22. But if he does, it’ll be thanks to KOC’s offensive acumen. Not because Kirk suddenly changed as a human being.

Can he improve enough to win a Super Bowl with a better offensive coaching staff? We’ll soon find out.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan