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Vikings’ younger players helping old guys learn new offense

There’s always a better way

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Everyone has a different learning style, but in an effort to get everyone on the same page some younger members of the Minnesota Vikings are helping their quarterback learn the team’s new offensive system in a new way.

Kirk Cousins had been using old school flashcards to help himself learn the Vikings’ new Kevin O’Connell-led offense. However, a couple of his younger targets, wide receiver Justin Jefferson and tight end Irv Smith Jr., have helped him to find a better way.

Per a story by Jori Epstein in USA Today:

As Cousins sought to memorize his new playbook, the 33-year-old quarterback created flashcards with the name of a new play or formation on one side, and a drawing on the other. He tested himself: Where can he expect his X, Y and Z receivers if he calls out each phrase? Which will motion, who’s running what route, and why?

In a show of the collaboration the offense will rely on, Jefferson and tight end Irv Smith Jr., who are 22 and 23 years old, taught their quarterback a more-modern study tactic for learning their more-modern offense: the flashcard smartphone app, Quizlet.

“Sure enough, I found out about it and I’m at home using Quizlet, and I love it,” Cousins told USA TODAY Sports. “I texted the coach who made it, and I was like, ‘Ryan: This is tremendous.’”

It’s only right that a modern offense be learned in a modern fashion, and Jefferson says that the new offense is a leap forward from where it’s been over his first two seasons in Minnesota.

“We had an old-style offense last year,” Jefferson told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s 2022. You get into a new age and move to a new generation. Adding new things to the offense definitely allows us to be more comfortable with the offense and work in different areas of the fields.”

While Jefferson was obviously very successful in Minnesota’s offense under Mike Zimmer, it has to give Viking fans goosebumps to wonder what, exactly, Jefferson can do if he’s featured in a Cooper Kupp-esque role as O’Connell seems to envision for him.

A new offense is one of the many things that we have to look forward to as this team prepares for the 2022 season, and it certainly sounds like the players are excited about what the new regime is bringing to the table. Hopefully all of that excitement will be warranted.