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Additional Minnesota Viking Commentary

Self Awareness - Not So Fast
Saying that you need to get to the next level doesn't get you there.  Talking about self awareness, and the need to achieve self awareness, doesn't even begin to getting you to the next level.    

In 2018, Kirk Cousins was entertainment, but a failure nonetheless.  That continued a theme but that doesn't direct your future.  Sure everyone dug in their nails deep into your flesh every time they brought up your unique guaranteed contract.  To their benefit, what these knuckle heads understood that if you didn't win the Super Bowl ... then you couldn't possibly be worth the money.  It was for Kirk Cousins in 2018 ... a no win argument.  Why?  Because what everyone seems to forget is exactly how hard it is to win an NFL championship.  In case that you might have forgotten exactly how hard it is to win it all, just ask Bill Parcells.  So in other words, with that chosen statement was the gun that was cocked directly at Kirk Cousins head, as he faced the impossible.  It was impossible because that 2018 schedule was absolutely brutal where Kirk Cousins found himself auditioning for this franchise for 16 weeks.  Maybe our punishment was to see that he, nor anyone else, could be our savior for if Cousins had in fact pulled it all off in 2018 ... that's exactly what he'd be.  2018 was no different then that 1972 season ...  "The return of Fran Tarkenton".  

So what's changed ... well ... there are no such expectations in regard to Kirk Cousins.  If you take a good look at the league ... no one fears Kirk Cousins ... and no one fears the potential of this organization, less maybe one team ... The Chicago Bears.
So, you want to talk about self awareness.  If you had to choose between adding an 40 additional yards to your 2018 season or adding one additional first down to that stat sheet ... which would you choose.  Based upon what brought you to Minnesota, based upon garbage time stats, it is apparent that Kirk Cousins stat sheet would favor those additional 40 yards.  After all, that one additional 40 yard reception might have resulted in a touchdown ... right???  Well this defines the difference between Kirk Cousins & Tom Brady.         

Just for a moment consider that AFC championship game.  Tom Brady gets the ball first and what does he do.  He stacks up first down after first down.  What results ... Attrition & Depletion!  

Case Keenum understood this simple concept whereas Kirk Cousins felt it necessary to wow us with his athletic skills throwing that ball down the field in low percentage desperation throws.  

So what is held within Self Awareness?  Well, it is leadership.  Last year, Kirk Cousins believed that he had an awesome defense that could stop anyone.  Well when you're facing the 2018 Miami Dolphins that might be true but when you're playing a first place schedule ... not so much.  Kirk Cousins must of heard the words ... GOOD JOB ... and he must have believed it.  It was like Brett Favre being told ... all you need to do is hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson which lasted about 1/2 a series before reality set in.   
In Kirk Cousins self awareness course he has to understand that he's not only the leader of this franchises offense ... he's the leader of the entire team.  And no, that doesn't mean giving Rah! Rah! speeches to the team prior to kick off.  What it means is stacking together first downs, followed by punts if you are unable to score, and flipping the field.  Every first down means depletion for the defense that you're facing and Attrition added to your own defense so that they can stop anybody.     

The contract is over.  The money spent by this franchise is sunk so it's time for the commentators to move on to some other organization that they want to lose their opportunity of winning that Super Bowl.  The audition is over.

Sounds like allot of weight on Kirk Cousins ... doesn't it?  A whiney little b-tch might say ... it's a team sport ... why should I be responsible for those knuckleheads that which I have to face every day in practice?  Well, ask yourself this question ... Am I my brothers keeper?  Said another way, knowing that someone was talking crazy, where it was very apparent that that individual might harm himself (jump off a building) ... would you offer him money?  

Now before you answer that question, there was another Tom Brady Super Bowl, which took the stacking up of play after play to achieve victory.  Tom was playing against the clock.  If any one thing in that stack didn't happen ... Tom Brady & the Patriots organization would lose the game.  It was that exact & it was that precise.
Kirk Cousins ... you want self awareness ... here it comes.  You've failed series after series because you failed to stack up first down after first down.  Sure, 3 & outs happen to everyone but as this franchises leader, when it happens to you, you've let down the entire team.  "I failed to make it happen".  Then when it does happen, you want your defense to tell you, we got this rather than think nice 18 yard down the field low percentage miss.

Kirk Cousins ... when you speak ... they've got to see your pain.  When everything is ok ... and it isn't ... then it isn't reality.  Nothing is ever ok ... it is chaos ... always.  The check must be from hand to mouth ... only then will they help you.    

It wasn't John Elway's skill that won those championships.  It was his leadership.  He had to give up a great deal (the ground game, forgoing down field misses in favor of stacking first downs, focus on defensive depletion, trusting his defense to do their part).  John Elway prostrated himself to his team to be its leader.    

Zimmer's Hybrids
The Chicago Bears, amongst other teams, present a unique challenge to Coach Zimmer's defense, especially on first down.  Versus the bulk of this pass happy league coach Zimmer's has effectively applied his hybrids, which include Alexander & Kearse.  Coach Zimmer would align them with his 2 primary linebackers & four man line, shifting  out of his base defense to great affect but he has not effectively responded to these run-first offenses (Seattle, Chicago, LA Rams) that put a real hurt, not only on his squad in 2018 but throughout the league.  These teams might not be on your regular season schedule but you better expect to see it often in this copycat league & throughout the playoffs.  To be direct, facing this run first mentality by adding Shamar Stephens to our base defense, although it is an improvement, isn't really asking the right questions.  It also isn't making the correct statement which should be, "Trubisky ... I' daring you to throw the ball on first down".  As a struggling young quarterback, he's become reliant on running the ball on 1st down which generally resulted in a 2nd & 3 or worse for our defense.

It's time to consider another Mike Zimmer hybrid & it will revolve around Griffen the Gunner.  In the absence of Griffen in 2018, Stephen Weatherly proved his worth as a disruptive force at defensive end.  In years past, we had used Griffen, Hunter & Robison on the D-line to apply pressure on obvious passing downs but now we need to consider a different hybrid to stop the run.  Weatherly & Hunter at end, moving the gunner Griffen to hybrid to stop that run.  This is a very foreign concept, moving away from a failing base defense concept, to stop the run on first down.  In effect your forcing Kendricks & Barr to interface within the knucklehead gunner within Griffen.  In effect, your statement is loud & clear ... "We dare you to throw the ball on 1st down".         

Take away one first down, when there expecting our base defense ... and they'll lose the game.  

The Viking Ghost Writer
Date: June 23, 2019