Kirk Cousins has focused over the past two-plus months on learning the Vikings playbook and building a rapport with his new teammates.
Perhaps most important aspect from an on-field perspective is the chemistry the quarterback builds with the offensive side of the ball. NFL.com's Tom Pelissero stopped by Wednesday's Organized Team Activity practice at Twin Cities Orthopedics Center and talked to the Vikings receivers about Cousins and how the group is jelling.
Pelissero quoted Adam Thielen, who said the ball "comes out of Cousins' hand differently."
"[Stefon] Diggs said it the other day – the spiral he puts on it just makes it easy for us to catch," Thielen told Pelissero. "It just kind of pops out of his hand differently than you're used to, and you don't see that kind of stuff on film. You can only see that when you're out here practicing. It's been fun, and we have a lot of work to do."
Pelissero pointed out that "far greater tests" are still ahead but that Thielen's message is still "notable." Pelissero wrote:
The Vikings won a lot of games with [Teddy] Bridgewater and [Case] Keenum, and [Sam] Bradford (when healthy) is regarded as one of the best pure passers around. Yet, from the moment Cousins got on the field here, everyone in the building seemed to take note of the way he throws. [Harrison] Smith told me he kept glancing over during Phase 2 of the offseason program, before the offense is allowed to go against the defense, to see Cousins dropping dimes on the other end of the field.
One of Cousins' former coaches once told me he also processes as well as any QB in the league, reacting to what he's seeing and getting the ball out without thinking. That trait probably contributed to high interception totals early in Cousins' career, but he'd learn from those mistakes and improve.
According to Pelissero, the real evaluation will happen when Cousins faces a Vikings pass rush, even though he won't be tackled. But Pelissero noted that the quarterback "does have strong numbers" and added the following:
Now he's on a Vikings team with one of the NFL's best defenses, a competent O-line and an established group of skill players, including Thielen, Diggs, tight end Kyle Rudolph and running backs Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray.
Tommy Kramer hosts Vikings viewing party for fans
Fans who have followed the Vikings since the early days certainly remember Tommy Kramer, who played under center in Minnesota from 1977-89.
It may have been years since Kramer stepped into the huddle, but the former quarterback stays connected to his former team and the fan base. He enjoys meeting members of the Vikings faithful, often taking to social media to share stories of new friends he's made.
Recently, Kramer opened an invite for fans to join him at a Twin Cities hotel conference room for a viewing of the 1980 Vikings-Browns game, during which Kramer finished 38-of-49 passing for 456 yards, four touchdowns and a passer rating of 132.7.
Kramer tweeted about the positive turnout: