Vikings' Kirk Cousins: Gaining experience with receivers
Offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski expects Cousins to take a big step forward in his second season with the Vikings, NFL.com's Jeremy Bergman reports. "Having one year under his belt around his teammates is a big deal and there's so much that goes into understanding the nuances of each one of your receivers and your tight ends and knowing how they come out of routes," Stefanski said.
Cousins finished his first season in Minnesota with career highs for completion percentage (70.1) and passing touchdowns (30), but he produced just 6.6 YPA after a Week 10 bye as the team stumbled to a 3-4 finish and missed the playoffs. Stefanski was promoted to replace John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator for the final three weeks, helping secure two easy victories prior to a season-ending collapse against the Bears in Week 17. The Vikings seem to be tweaking their philosophy and terminology rather than overhauling, with the hope that some offseason changes can put the same core group of players in better positions to succeed. A shaky offensive line got some help in the form of first-round pick Garrett Bradbury and free-agent signing Josh Kline, while offensive advisor Gary Kubiak should be a useful asset for the coaching staff. There's also some hope the offense can become more versatile, with second-round pick Irv Smith Jr. potentially allowing for increased use of formations with multiple tight ends. The Vikings had three wideouts on the field for 69 percent of their snaps last season, despite getting minimal production from No. 3 receiver Laquon Treadwell.
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