Kevin O’Connell ‘Kevin O’Connell’ Excited to Coach ‘Kirk Cousins’ in 2022

Eagan, Minnesota – Kirk Cousins Part of the Minnesota Vikings’ plans for the 2022 season, at least for now.

Speaking at his opening press conference Thursday, four days after helping lead the Los Angeles Rams to victory in the Super Bowl LVI, new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said he expects Cousins ​​to continue playing the quarterback in Minnesota despite questions surrounding his future .

“Well, I know he’s under contract and I’m excited to train him,” O’Connell said. “We’re already starting to think about how to build those systems for him and our other midfielders, the massive skill set we have, our guys up front. It takes all 11 to move the football when attacking, run it, to throw it, to score points in the red. But I expect Kirk to be a part of what we do.”

Sitting next to O’Connell during the press conference at the team’s headquarters, general manager Kwesi Adovo-Mensah reiterated O’Connell’s position.

“I am excited that he is excited to coach and lead him, and we are focused on building the team around him to prepare us for success as best we can,” said Adovo-Mensah.

Cousins ​​is entering the final year of the $66 million extension he signed into 2020, which comes with a cap of $45 million, the third highest in the NFL. There has been speculation that the Vikings could opt to move from this quarterback out of the season via trade due to the financial restrictions his contract places on Minnesota’s salary cap after the team failed to make the playoffs in successive years.

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The 33-year-old’s base salary of $35 million for 2022 became guaranteed last March, three years after he signed a historic three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed contract in Minnesota as a free agent.

If the Vikings decide to keep Cousins ​​in the fold, they could consider extending it a second time to lower the cap number for 2022 or allowing him to play in the final year of his contract as is.

While he won’t go into the details of Cousins’ contract, Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf reiterated his belief that Minnesota will be competitive next season with Cousins ​​at the quarterback.

“Koise and Kevin have talked very extensively about it,” Wolf said. “I definitely believe and even more so now that we have our leadership here in place that we built to be immediately successful. We feel very confident about that and as I’ve heard before, we will be working with Kirk as our midfielder and going forward from there. But for 2022 “For sure, we will be more competitive. Continuous success is the goal and I believe we achieve it with this leadership.”

O’Connell, who has spent the past two seasons as the Rams’ offensive coordinator, was the quarterback coach for Cousins ​​in Washington during 2017. Cousins ​​threw 4,093 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions during his final season in Washington, when the team finished with a 7-9 record.

During O’Connell’s interview with the Vikings, co-owner Ziggy Welf said he was impressed by the coach’s background as a quarterback and believed he “would get the best out of it.” [Cousins] And it will take the offensive to another level.” O’Connell played in the NFL from 2008 to 2012.

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Part of O’Connell’s vision of the offensive is rooted in amplifying the Cousins’ skill set. When asked about comparing Vikings quarterbacks with rams Matthew StaffordBoth are “elite shooters,” O’Connell said. The coach said that Minnesota could “build an offense to maximize what [Cousins] He does better,” adding that “many concepts” people saw our criminality take place in Los Angeles [they] You will absolutely see our attack here in Minnesota.”

“Kirk has played at a very high level and has done a lot of really good things throughout his career,” O’Connell said. “I know who he is as a player and I know his capabilities, and part of our job as coaches is to maximize a player’s ability to go out every Sunday and achieve success.

“I feel like that would be an advantage for us as we build our system offensively, make sure we really focus on the things that Kirk does well, which I think is a lot of aspects of playing the position, helping him every day is a foundation for communicating with his team, leading us, being a calm player. Absolutely he can play because he is talented enough to do so, which puts him in the best possible positions to succeed.”

O’Connell said he would call the offensive plays in Minnesota. He last took up theater liaison duties in Washington after Jay Gruden was fired during the 2019 season.

The Vikings are projecting $15.5 million over their 2022 salary cap. The league’s new year and free agency begin March 16 at 4 p.m. ET.

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