Klint Kubiak Gives Rashod Hill Vote of Confidence

AP Photo: Aaron Doster

The 2021 NFL season is three weeks old and the Minnesota Vikings are still shrouded in mystery. They hold a losing 1-2 record and sit near the bottom of the NFC North. But as Mike Zimmer loves to point out, the sum of their two losses totals just four points. Optimists believe the Vikings are one shanked 37-yard field goal away from being 2-1 and one Dalvin Cook fumble away from having a kicker’s chance at 3-0.

Right now, this is a football team being propped up by their often vilified QB Kirk Cousins, who’s being protected by an offensive line that’s been much better than what we’ve seen in recent Vikings history. Four of five starting offensive linemen have shown measurable improvement and (RG) Oli Udoh is flashing early signs of an o-line staple for years to come.

But there’s one ugly sore-thumb sticking out of the far left side of that o-line. The 29-year-old (6-year veteran) Rashod Hill has struggled throughout the 2021 campaign and his PFF grade shows it.

“Rashod’s our guy”

Hill’s grade of 42.7 is by-far the worst on the offensive line and ranks 72nd among 74 qualified NFL tackles. Center, Garrett Bradbury’s undesirable 53.6 grade doesn’t look so bad when Hill’s is included in the graphic. This is why the Vikings targeted a left tackle early in the 2021 draft. That draft pick, Christian Darrisaw, is now cleared medically and practicing with the team. But that doesn’t mean Hill’s job is in jeopardy.

Offensive coordinator, Klint Kubiak, spoke with reporters on Thursday as part of his weekly OC duties. He put in a vote of confidence for his starting left tackle, Rashod Hill, calling him “our guy”. In the next sentence, Kubiak talked about the long road Christian Darrisaw has to actually finding his way into the o-line rotation.

It feels like weeks, if not months, until Darrisaw is an actual threat to take the starting left tackle job from Rashod Hill, no matter how poor Hill plays.

“Rashod [Hill]’s our guy. It’s good to have Christian [Darrisaw] back in practice. He’s getting better. He’s only had a few days so you have to build him up and do it the right way and I’m really pleased with his progression.”

Klint Kubiak (above video)

Kirk on Fire

The Minnesota Vikings will have to ride or die with Rashod at left tackle into the foreseeable future. How long that will be remains to be seen but, if you trust Klint’s tone, we shouldn’t hold our collective breaths. There was no hesitation by Kubiak when asked about Darrisaw as possible LT competition for Hill. He’s not.

Still, a semi-competent Rashod Hill might be all a smoldering Kirk Cousins needs to stack a few wins at home. Even with the injured ankle of Dalvin Cook and the lackluster week-by-week performances from their left tackle, the purple and gold offense has been humming behind Cousins’ right arm, posting 425 yards and 29 points per game.

If you noticed in the graphic near the top of this blog, Kirk is sporting a ridiculous 89.1 PFF grade through three weeks, good for 3rd in the league. Nobody (other than me) saw Kirk Cousins confidently leading the Minnesota offense to the tune of 800 yards, 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions through three games.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan