Vikings will adjust their offense to suit Kirk Cousins, Mike Zimmer says – Washington Post

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kirk Cousins has a guaranteed three-year, $84 million deal from the Minnesota Vikings that has made him, at least temporarily, the NFL’s highest-paid player.

Cousins also will have a Vikings’ offense that suits him. Coach Mike Zimmer said Tuesday that he expects his new quarterback to make a relatively seamless adjustment to the team’s offensive system, in part because the Vikings’ coaches must be mindful of tweaking the offense to suit what Cousins does best.

Zimmer said he spoke about Cousins with Los Angeles Rams Coach Sean McVay and San Francisco 49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan, both former offensive coordinators of the Washington Redskins during Cousins’s tenure in D.C., during this week’s annual league meeting behind held at an Orlando resort.

“I don’t think it’ll be a very steep learning curve,” Zimmer said at Tuesday morning’s NFL coaches’ breakfast with media members. “He’s a really smart kid. He’s very, very detailed. He wants to have every answer. I talked to Sean McVay yesterday. I talked to Kyle Shanahan a little bit yesterday. And these guys just rave about him. So I don’t think the learning curve will be big.

“But it’s important for us as coaches to do what he does the best. I’ve always said that your offense should be what the quarterback does best, away from, ‘Okay, whatever the playbook says.’ Obviously we’ve got the playbook in, all the installation and all that stuff. That can all go out the window when we get our hands on it and get to know exactly what he’s doing and what he feels comfortable with. You don’t pay that guy that much money to try to put him in a square hole.”

Cousins signed his unique contract with the Vikings after hitting the free agent market following three straight 4,000-yard passing seasons with the Redskins. He joins a team in Minnesota that reached last season’s NFC title game with Case Keenum at quarterback but lost in lopsided fashion at Philadelphia.

“it is completely fresh, and Kirk is our guy,” Zimmer said Tuesday. “Hopefully we can continue to do some things we did last year. We played pretty good on defense most of the time. We have a good football team. We have a great organization, great owners. If we can just continue to keep getting better, keep trying to get a little bit better every day, maybe we can finally get over that one last game that we didn’t get over last year.”

Keenum and fellow quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater left the Vikings as free agents. It is, indisputably, Cousins’s team as he arrives as the potential final piece of what the Vikings hope is a Super Bowl puzzle.

“This is about long-term security at the quarterback position. … I think hopefully that’s a big part of trying to get better,” Zimmer said. “In my four years there, I don’t think I’ve had a quarterback that’s played more than one season.”

Read more from The Post:

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Owners discuss national anthem policy, but no decisions are made

Eagles’ Michael Bennett posts bond after turning himself in on felony charge of injury to the elderly

Jay Gruden says Redskins are being ‘selective’ in free agency, not ‘cheap

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