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Favre, Cousins Connect Over Shared Experience with Vikings 'Family'


Nearly a decade separates their time in Purple, but two Vikings quarterbacks connected this week over shared experiences.

Kirk Cousins joined Hall of Famer Brett Favre and co-host Bruce Murray via phone for Favre's weekly show on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

The Vikings signed Favre, a longtime division rival, in 2009 and that season advanced to the NFC Championship game. He returned to Minnesota for a less glorious 2010 campaign before hanging up his cleats.

While the Vikings roster and coaching staff has almost entirely turned over since then, Favre spoke highly of Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who at that time served as Minnesota's assistant quarterbacks coach and hadn't yet celebrated his 30th birthday.

Favre said he saw something special in Stefanski then, and he's enjoyed watching the coach's career evolve over his years with the team.

"I really liked him," Favre said. "I was really happy to see him get the [offensive coordinator] job."

A few other friendly faces remain from Favre's time with the Vikings. He mentioned names to Cousins, who currently is well-familiar with all of them, from the front office to the equipment room.

"Guys like Bob Hagan, Tom West, [Eric Sugarman], Dennis Ryan, Rob Brzezinski, Rick Spielman – it was a great organization. I really got to see the other side," Favre told Cousins of his transition from Green Bay. "I know those same guys are still there, and I'm sure you feel the same way. What a family."

Cousins concurred.

"I think that's where it starts," he said. "To have a chance as a quarterback to win those types of games, it starts with great ownership, great management. People bringing the right people around you.

"There's a lot of great people who have been here a really long time, who are proud to call themselves employees of the Minnesota Vikings, and it's part of what makes it a great organization," Cousins added.

The pair of passers also share an appreciation for Vikings fans and the home-field advantage they help provide.

"Our fans are outstanding, our new stadium's outstanding, and I just feel very privileged to be the quarterback here," Cousins said.

Without missing a beat, Favre dead-panned a response, saying he actually deserves credit for the construction of U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened in July of 2016.

"Well, I made the Dome collapse," he quipped, referencing the 2010 incident actually caused by a heavy Minnesota snowfall.

Favre spent plenty of time in the Metrodome, first as the opponent and then with the good guys.

He recalled his Packers days and the dread that accompanied playing in Minneapolis.

"For years I went over to the Metrodome, and it was a disaster," said Favre, who went 6-10 in games at the Vikings old home.

"It was one of the toughest places to play," he continued. "In fact, the year we won [Super Bowl XXXI], we only lost three games that year, and one of those games was in Minnesota. Their defense was just … killing us."

Although Favre fell just short of the Big Dance with the Vikings, he's forever grateful for his two seasons in Minnesota.

He spoke highly of the culture within the organization that Cousins is taking advantage of now.

"So much in pro football is business-related, so it was refreshing to come in and enjoy my day," Favre said. "Sometimes the days can be long, and as the season progresses, it's a grind. When I got into the building, I laughed, I smiled, we had fun. That sure makes the season go by much sweeter."

Cousins often finds himself reflecting on Favre's 20-season career as blueprint for how to best approach the game.

He called Favre the example of "finding a way to enjoy the grind" and retaining a love for the game.

"Sometimes people tell me, 'Hey man, just go have fun.' And I'm thinking, 'I've got the weight of the world on my shoulders, and I've gotta deliver,' and if anything, I take it too seriously," Cousins admitted. "I've had to remind myself that seriousness is not a virtue, this is a child's game, and to go out there and have fun.

"It's always a treat to see your highlights, see your demeanor and the way you went about your business," he told Favre. "It's a great reminder, 'Just go out and play the game we've played since we were kids at recess.' Sometimes that's when you play your best."

To listen to Favre's interview with Cousins in its entirety, visit SiriusXM On Demand.