Is Kirk Cousins the quintessential system quarterback?

Kirk Cousins has always been seen as a system quarterback. For his entire 11-year career, the narrative has always been that Cousins can’t beat a defense without a solid system in place and can’t work outside the system.

According to The Ringer’s Steven Ruiz and his 2023 quarterback rankings, Cousins is the definition of a system quarterback.

Cousins isn’t just a system quarterback. He’s THE system quarterback. And I mean that as a compliment. yes, he still throws too many checkdowns at the worst possible time, and, sure, he is pretty much useless outside the pocket. But if you need a play executed with proper timing, Cousins is your guy. And as he ages, he seems more willing to make plays on his own. He’s throwing downfield more than ever before, and he’s doing it with pressure bearing down on him seemingly every other play. There’s still a clear ceiling on Cousins’s game. He doesn’t have the talent to go toe to toe with the league’s top passers without considerable help, but he won’t go down without throwing a few haymakers. That wasn’t always the case.

Ruiz goes on to describe Cousins’ best attribute being his timing in an offense.

Cousins is a coach’s dream. The ball always comes out on time, and it’s typically thrown to the right spot. When defenses can throw off his timing, though, the mistake-prone version of Cousins shows up.

Per Ruiz, Cousins’ biggest weakness is his creativity — or lack thereof.

To Cousins’s credit, he’s trying his hardest to become more of a playmaker. He’s just not very good at it.

Cousins was 14th in Ruiz’s ranking of all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks. He was seventh among NFC quarterbacks, behind Dak Prescott, Matthew Stafford, Jalen Hurts, Tom Brady, Kyler Murray and Geno Smith. For context on Brady, Ruiz is holding the spot “just in case.” On the bright side, that means Cousins is the top quarterback in the NFC North heading into the season, according to Ruiz.

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire