Full offseason bodes well for Vikings' Cousins, Rudolph

Print

Kirk Cousins looked back at his 2018 campaign and knew he could have been better getting certain players involved.

The Minnesota Vikings quarterback recently noted on NFL Network's Inside Training Camp Live that he could have given Kyle Rudolph "more opportunities" and that he needs to be more aggressive pushing the ball toward the tight end.

Joining Good Morning Football on Tuesday, Rudolph said, through the first part of training camp, the duo's chemistry has increased with a full offseason of work together.

"Kirk's never played with a tight end of the body type that I have," Rudolph said. "Kirk played with smaller guys that are quicker than I am, run routes differently. We didn't really have an offseason together last year, I was coming off ankle surgery, spent most of the spring rehabbing. Now we've had a full season together, a full offseason. And it's just being on the same page. He knows that I can make catches that some of the other guys that he played with in the past couldn't. And also I have more vertical separation than he's used to having. "

During Cousins' three seasons starting in Washington, his main tight ends were Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis and Niles Paul, all shorter and shiftier than the 6-foot-6 Rudolph. Cousins connected prolifically with Reed in 2015 and 2016 (the tight end's two best seasons), so he knows how to find the tight end.

While the Washington trio might have been more athletic than Rudolph, the Vikings TE owns the length that allows him to be open even when he's blanketed -- something Cousins should take advantage of more in the red zone this season. Vikings rookie Irv Smith Jr. might eventually profile closer to the TE's Cousins is used to rather than the long, tall Rudolph.

If Cousins can improve upon his chemistry with Rudolph in Year 2, it will make the Vikings much more dangerous and prolific on offense.

Print