Former Vikings LB claims Mike Zimmer never liked Kirk Cousins

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Kirk Cousins will finally have an opportunity to thrive at quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings after the split with former head coach Mike Zimmer, according to NFL commentator Ben Leber.

During an appearance on CBS Sports Radio, the former Vikings linebacker claimed Zimmer never liked Cousins enough to give him a real opportunity to lead the team.

“I think he’s going to finally thrive, really thrive, in a system and a coach that actually respects him,” said Leber. “I mean, it’s not like I’m breaking news here that Mike Zimmer did not like Kirk Cousins. And I think that showed in the way that Kirk behaved and the way that he carried himself. The team was never given to him, or he was never allowed to earn the trust of the team, because the head coach I think just didn’t like him.”

There have been obvious clues to a disconnect between many of the personnel decisions made by former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and Zimmer.

If Leber is right in his assessment, perhaps some of that plays into the equation as well. Of course, it would be great to hear Zimmer’s side of the story, but the former coach has gone radio silent since being fired by the team back in January.

Newly-hired head coach Kevin O’Connell has arrived with a more player-friendly coaching style, along with having actual experience working alongside Cousins during their time with the former Washington Redskins.

A higher altitude for the Vikings quarterback, who threw for 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns and only seven interceptions in 2021, could potentially carry the team to the Promised Land in 2022.

Anything less could bring into question an offseason of Zimmer being painted as the bad guy in Minnesota.

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