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Kyle Sloter should back up Kirk Cousins

Seattle Seahawks v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Ok it’s just pre-season. But as a backup quarterback, most likely this is your season. Your chance to show what you got. Sure there’s practice, and that counts in terms of showing knowledge of the offense and ability to make throws in that setting, but it doesn’t show how you play in game situations.

And the closest thing a backup quarterback has to that is preseason games.

As a former starter with many games of experience in the regular season, you’d expect a guy like Trevor Siemian to show more command. More ability. He should be a little above the second stringers he’s playing against. But he didn’t. He didn’t look like a starter. He didn’t look like a guy you want starting at QB for your team either. And that’s the point.

He was inaccurate. He looked poor under pressure. He did not lead second stringers, he let them down. There was a lack of energy. Quite simply, his game was not up to the task.

By fairly obvious contrast, as soon as Kyle Sloter took the field in each of the first three Vikings preseason games, there was energy and leadership. There was the will to win. There was a QB looking to make plays, not just play out his time.

And Sloter showed presence. Poise. Better scrambling ability. Better acccuracy. And he made plays. Every game. What plays did Siemian make? Zero. Nada. Bupkis.

Sloter led drives. He came through in the clutch. He delivered when he needed to. Yes, he went down twice late on back side blitzes, but he managed to escape from several others and made plays too. Siemian never did.

And, as every NFL head coach knows, if you want to win, you need a quarterback that can make plays. You can’t coach that. You can’t learn that in practice. Experience can help, but not that of Trevor Sirmian’s kind. He was not a playmaker in Denver, and he was released as a result. I’m not sure how that type of experience is a plus. It sounds good to say, “now here’s a QB that’s started a lot of games in the NFL, who can come in a take over if Cousins goes down.” But you could say that about Christian Ponder too.

Yes, it may be that if Cousins went down Sloter would have a learning curve playing against starting defenses not playing a more basic scheme. But he’s also a pretty smart QB that has been good at reading defenses in the past, and a good student of the game.

He’s also got all the intangibles you want in a quarterback, and that are missing in Siemian.

You often here coaches talk about how draft status, etc. doesn’t matter after training camp starts. It’s what you do in practice, and with the reps given to you that matters.

Well, if that’s the case, Kyle Sloter should be the primary backup to Kirk Cousins. Trevor Siemian can run the scout team.

Vikings coaches need to show to young guys that if you perform well, you’ll be rewarded - just like they do by extending deserving vets with big new contracts.


Who do you have more faith in to come in and win a game if Cousins went down ?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Trevor Siemian
    (262 votes)
  • 93%
    Kyle Sloter
    (3727 votes)
3989 votes total Vote Now