Mike Zimmer fired partly for saying what Minnesota Vikings nonetheless refuse to confess

Kirk Cousins gestures toward mediocrity  as Mike Zimmer looks on.

Kirk Cousins gestures towards mediocrity as Mike Zimmer seems to be on.
Photograph: Getty Photos

Wait, there’s nonetheless a debate concerning the quarterbacking skills of Kirk Cousins? I assumed we had been previous this, just like the, “Is Joe Flacco elite?” argument. Apparently, new Minnesota coach Kevin O’Connell will proceed residing out a Twitter argument in actual time.

With former GM Rick Spielman gone, coach Mike Zimmer fired, and new GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah hiring O’Connell, who coached Cousins in Washington, it seems Cousins is the final man left yelling “You want that!” from final season’s Skol shouting match.

A narrative from The Athletic Minnesota’s gamble on O’Connell featured some particulars on Zimmer’s departure. The coach was let go after ending 8-9, and it wasn’t simply lacking the playoffs that acquired him fired. According to Chad Graff, the resting-grumpy-faced coach might not disguise his grumpiness over his QB.

Right here’s a phase:

“Zimmer complained brazenly in teaching conferences about Cousins, and a few of Zimmer’s prime lieutenants echoed the sentiment. Zimmer didn’t really feel the quarterback made sufficient ‘successful performs,’ that he didn’t take the required photographs to assist lead the Vikings to victory, and that he didn’t elevate his teammates.”

Differing views over an important participant on a soccer workforce can result in terminations. I doubt Justin Jefferson will get traded or launched for audibly expressing his unhappiness with Cousins so loudly that cameras caught it, however the workforce sided with Cousins over Stefon Diggs, so that you by no means know.

I perceive there was loads occurring in Miami, however Brian Flores’ affinity for Deshaun Watson — and not Tua Tagovailoa — was one of many causes he was let go, regardless of placing a aggressive product on the sector.

Zimmer was 72-56-1 as head coach of Minnesota, and he even made an NFC title sport with Case Keenum below heart in 2017. A 12 months after being getting ready to a Tremendous Bowl, Keenum was pushed out, and Cousins was introduced in. The workforce has underachieved in three of its 4 seasons with Cousins at quarterback, however then-GM Spielman refused to acknowledge his mistake, bristling at Zimmer’s remedy of the man he wouldn’t admit isn’t THE man.

Right here’s some extra from Graff:

“However that view [of Cousins] wasn’t shared by everybody. Some, particularly within the entrance workplace, thought Zimmer didn’t deal with the scenario effectively. They acknowledged to Zimmer that Cousins isn’t an ideal quarterback however felt Zimmer’s job as head coach was to get probably the most out of the quarterback — and undercutting his play in teaching conferences didn’t assist.”

I’m sorry if Zimmer wasn’t MacGyver with the roster. Sure, his late-game clock administration and stop protection contributed to Minnesota’s fair proportion of collapses, however you gave him a totally loaded Lexus SUV with an engine from a Chevy Malibu. No quantity of tips or technique are going to offset common quarterback play. Invoice Belichick utilized each ounce of his soccer mind to get New England and Mac Jones to the postseason, and even he couldn’t masks a flaw that’s extra generally deadly than every other deadly flaw.

O’Connell was the QB coach for Cousins once they had been each in Washington, and that needed to play a giant half in Adofo-Mensah’s resolution to reunite the duo. Cousins threw for 4,000-plus yards, 27 TDs, and 13 interceptions throughout their one season collectively in 2017, and had greater than 4,200 yards with 33 TDs and 7 picks final 12 months.

The workforce reportedly fielded a name about his availability from the Panthers, and he’s within the remaining 12 months of that absolutely assured contract. Adofo-Mensah stated “every thing is in play,” however that got here proper after he referred to as Cousins an “extremely constant passer,” according to ProFootballTalk. Somebody in that group hasn’t given up on Cousins but, and Minnesota followers are most certainly going to be subjected to 5 seasons with Captain Unvaccinated as their starter.

It’s by no means been simpler to place up numbers as a quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger might barely full a 15-yard out route throughout his final season as knowledgeable, and he nonetheless had 3,740 yards passing, 22 touchdowns, and simply 10 interceptions. The aforementioned Jones had 3,801, 22 TDs and 13 interceptions in his rookie season.

Cousins is surrounded by one of the vital gifted group of talent gamers within the league. Pair any common quarterback with Dalvin Prepare dinner, Adam Thielen, and Jefferson, and also you’ll get sufficient manufacturing to make you assume there’s extra to be unlocked.

Nevertheless, we’ve seen the very best Cousins has to supply. He’s already pulled over, he can’t pull over any extra. Zimmer figured that out and voiced his displeasure. If solely somebody within the group would’ve listened.

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