Vikings’ Adam Thielen on O’Connell’s Change in Cousins: ‘That’s the Best Kirk’

Adam Thielen

Getty Adam Thielen playing for the Vikings in 2020.

Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell made a bet by taking the job in Minnesota.

O’Connell bet that he could get more out of Kirk Cousins and help a talented roster get out of its own way and start winning games after 14 games last season were decided by a single possession.

So far, it’s looking like O’Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made the right call.

The Vikings at 4-1 are off to their best start since 2016, which happens to also be Cousins’ best start to a season in his career.

That comes from O’Connell creating a level of comfort for the veteran quarterback.

And while the wins haven’t been comfortable by any means, Cousins hasn’t been shaken by a close game yet, leading game-winning drives in the fourth quarter of each of the past three weeks.

Finally boasting a comfortable winning record for the first time in two seasons, Cousins coming out of his shell a bit as the new culture in Minnesota is beginning to take form.

Adam Thielen spoke on the growing camaraderie in the locker room and the trust the team has in Cousins.

Adam Thielen Says Kirk Cousins is ‘At His Best’

Speaking on an October 14 airing of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. Thielen was asked about a video that went viral of Cousins wearing left tackle Christian Darrisaw’s chain on the plane ride home after the Vikings’ Week 4 win over the New Orleans Saints in London.

Cousins, who has been noticeably more candid in his interviews this season, has begun to draw more attention from national media beyond his more serious side.

“Yeah, it’s hard to explain. When he’s locked in, he’s locked in. And he’s a serious guy and he works his tail off and he takes his game seriously because he knows how important his job is,” Thielen said.

“But when we can open him up a bit and get that personality out of him, he’s one of the most fun people to be around,” Thielen added. “He’s a different guy when you can just get that true personality out of him. As you see in that video, guys love being around him. When he’s able to relax and have fun, that’s the best Kirk.”

While fans are seeing a different side of Cousins, Thielen says he remains the same guy in the building.

“We’re excited about what we can do moving forward. The great thing about Kirk: no matter what people say about him, no matter what’s happening, he’s the same guy every single day. He’s going to prepare his butt off, he’s going to be the most prepared person in the entire NFL every single week,” Thielen said. “When you feel that and you see that as teammates, it gives you certain confidence that I’m going to do my job, and he’s got us taken care of and he’s going to lead us.”

Cousins, Vikings Have an Advantage Over Dolphins in Week 6

Earlier in the season, the Vikings’ Week 6 matchup with the Miami Dolphins looked like one of the most daunting games on their schedule.

First-year coach Mike McDaniels seemingly had unlocked Tua Tagovailoa. The young quarterback, with an arsenal of speedy wide receivers in Tyreek Hill and Jalen Waddle, threw for 469 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-39 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

Miami dispatched the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals in the following weeks, however, their success has been marred by the team’s handling of Tagovailoa’s injuries over the past few weeks. Tagovailoa is in concussion protocol and ruled out for Week 6, while Teddy Bridgewater, who was also in concussion protocol, was taken off the injury report on Saturday.

The Dolphins will start third-string rookie quarterback Skylar Thompson on Sunday, giving the Vikings an advantage in facing a green quarterback in the NFL.

Minnesota is a three-point favorite on the road, per Vegas Insider.

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