Vikings: Gary Kubiak’s retirement puts Kirk Cousins in bad spot

Minnesota Vikings

Gary Kubiak is leaving the Vikings and retiring from the NFL.

Kubiak’s retirement is a relative surprise to Vikings fans, who despite potentially wanting a new play-caller, likely expected some form of stability on the coaching staff for the first time in years. Kirk Cousins, for one, must be tired of trading in one playbook for another.

Cousins will now have to learn under the Vikings’ sixth offensive coordinator in the last six seasons. Three of those so far have been with Cousins at the helm.

While Cousins doesn’t inspire much confidence every given Sunday, he’s an above-average quarterback when paired with the right weapons and coaching staff. His inability to remain committed to the same system has long stunted his development, leaving him a shell of what he can be.

Cousins performed well last year without Stefon Diggs

Despite the overall decline of the team, Cousins wasn’t necessarily part of the problem. In fact, the Michigan State alum had a higher passer rating this year without Diggs on the roster. Much of that is thanks to the rapid development on Justin Jefferson into a No. 1-caliber receiver, but it doesn’t right the wrong of trading Diggs in the first place.

In fact, much of the turnover on offense can be attributed to relatively poor hires on the part of the front office, and the departure of Kevin Stefanski, who gelled with Cousins like few offensive coordinators have over the course of his career.

Mike Zimmer must get the forthcoming hire right. If not, another season with Cousins will go down the drain, as he’s simply proven to be not good enough to operate in a system that isn’t catered to his strengths.

It’s a weakness the Vikings have identified to this point, despite the massive contract they gave him back in free agency 2018. The more turnover they have on the offensive coaching staff, the more those weaknesses will be highlighted.

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