So what was it? What part of Kirk Cousins’ game was the most attractive to the Minnesota Vikings when they decided to sign him to a three-year, $84-million contract?

Mike Zimmer, the Vikings’ coach, was as enamored by what Cousins didn’t do then what he did do. And what he did a good job of avoiding was mistakes with his throws.

‘He threw the ball into a lot of tight windows and we’re seeing that here in camp’

“Part of it was his accuracy,” Zimmer told Bruce Murray and Kirk Cousins during the SiriusXM NFL Radio training-camp tour. “He threw the ball into a lot of tight windows and we’re seeing that here in camp. Very consistent in the things he was able to do. So I think that was part of it.

“You know, not too many times is a quarterback that’s really entering his prime at 28 get out on the free-agency market that’s thrown for 4,000 for three straight years. I think he’s my fifth quarterback in five years, so I’m hoping we’ve stabilized the quarterback position. He’s come in and done a great job.”

‘Now, I hope that Kirk is the quarterback for my career’

Zimmer acknowledged that he assumed one of his former quarterbacks, Teddy Bridgewater, would have the job for a long time. “I always thought Teddy was going to be my quarterback for my career and these are the way things go,” the coach said. “Now, I hope that Kirk is the quarterback for my career … and (that) it’s long, too. Not one year.”

The Vikings’ smothering defense could very well make a big contribution to that cause. Zimmer said, with so many returning players, he has been able to give them more to handle from the playbook during camp practices.

‘(The defense is) a little bit ahead of schedule, so I try to keep them interested by giving them some more things’

“That’s the great thing about having most of these guys being here for five years,” Zimmer said. “We’re in spring ball one day and we’re down in the red zone and the offense made a check and then the defense made a check and we didn’t even have the check in yet. So, they’re a little bit ahead of schedule, so I try to keep them interested by giving them some more things … ‘Let’s look at this.’

“And then, obviously, you go back on last year and look at, ‘OK, what things hurt us? How can we get better?’ That’s part of our job is to always try to continue to get better. So the good thing about having a veteran group of guys on defense, I can go in and say, ‘Hey, let’s play this and let’s make a different call. Half the side is playing this defense and half is playing this defense.'”

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