Dalvin Cook seeing change in Kirk Cousins with Kevin O’Connell as head coach

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The changes in Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins are already apparent, according to star running back Dalvin Cook.

Things are different now with the arrival of first-year head coach Kevin O’Connell, who already has a built-in connection with Cousins from their time together with the then Washington Redskins.

It’s much different than the way things were handled when Mike Zimmer was still the coach. Granted, that isn’t to say Zimmer wasn’t a good coach, but there was never a healthy connection between the head coach and quarterback under the previous regime.

Former Vikings linebacker Ben Leber alluded to it on CBS Sports Radio back in July, when he claimed Zimmer “did not like” Cousins. Well, not only does O’Connell like Cousins, but he’s willing to build the same relationship with him that you see from many of the other elite coach and quarterback combinations.

And Cook has a front row seat to all of the changes that have come with that bond.

“I’ve seen [Cousins] grow every year, but you see how comfortable he is with [Kevin O’Connell] from day one,” said Cook, during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show. “You see the relationship between those guys, and that’s what we needed.

“We needed that for our guy back there because Kirk can sling that rock. He can take us where we want to go, and we firmly believe that as a group and as a team. So having [Kevin O’Connell] come in and be that security blanket to help take us to the next level, I think that’s going to be good for Kirk and our team.”

Cousins threw for 4,221 passing yards, 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions last season.

If he goes any higher, his head might break the ceiling. That sort of improvement would likely put the Vikings back into playoff contention, while simultaneously shutting down naysayers across the board.

If everything goes according to plan, this could be the “allow me to re-introduce myself” moment for one of the most polarizing players in the NFL.

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Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire