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Mike Shanahan says Kirk Cousins didn’t have the weapons he needed last season

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NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you love or hate him, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has been on a roll as of late. Cousins has helped Minnesota win five of their last six games, been named NFC Offensive Player of the Month for October, and has a passer rating of 112.0 which puts him comfortably in third place in the National Football League.

But according to Cousins’ ex-coach Mike Shanahan, Cousins new found success with the Vikings is because he now has the “right supporting cast.” (Yes, he actually said that.) Shanahan spoke to the Pioneer Press about Cousins, who he coached with the Washington Redskins for seven games, about what he felt Cousins was missing last season in Minnesota.

“I’ve been around him. … I know what type of quarterback he is. The sky’s the limit with Kirk Cousins. … If you give Kirk the weapons, he will beat you.” Shanahan said. He went on to say, “The people that gave him the criticism, at least in my opinion, a lot those people don’t know football. He didn’t have the supporting cast to show his skill. You give him the right supporting cast, his skill will show.”

When you look at his comment at face value, you can say with absolute certainty that he is wrong. Cousins had plenty of weapons to choose from, and he made use of them often. It wasn’t the best season, obviously, but there they did win with the weapons they had.

But what I feel Shanahan is missing is that Cousins was in his first year with the Vikings. It does take some time to adjust to a new team and what they are doing. While that doesn’t take away from the missteps that Cousins had last year, to say he had no weapons is ridiculous.

Shanahan did go on to say about weaponless Kirk, and something I do agree with, “Just take a look at the offensive line, to start with. (Cousins) had very little opportunity last year to have success with the way the offensive line played...”

Minnesota has struggled to field a healthy and decent offensive line in recent years. That group having a better season is going to make Cousins feel more comfortable in the pocket and not have to feel like he has to throw the second the ball is snapped. But that’s just a small part of last year. The same weapons that were here then are here now.

We don’t know why Cousins is doing exceptionally better from last year. Most will say it was the Chicago game and Stefon Diggs calling him out, or maybe he just found his confidence with team and himself. I personally don’t care. He’s doing better and so is the team so whatever it was, more power to it. But it definitely isn’t a lack of weapons.