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Mike Zimmer expects “great” year from Kirk Cousins

Miami Dolphins v Minnesota Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 16: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings drops back to pass the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

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Kirk Cousins did some good things last season. The Vikings quarterback completed 70.1 percent of his passes for 4,298 yards with 30 touchdowns.

But he threw 10 interceptions and lost seven fumbles, and the Vikings went only 8-7-1 a year after reaching the NFC Championship Game.

The Vikings, though, expect Cousins to make a big jump in his second season in Minnesota.

“I think he had a good year,” Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said. “I think because he signed the big contract, everybody’s on his rear end about that, and we didn’t win enough games. Same with me, I guess, but the big thing is every free agent I’ve had in my 25 or 26 years, however many years I’ve been coaching, they’ve always played better the second year. They have to learn where everything is, they have to find a place to live. You can go through our free agents: Captain Munnerlyn, when he was with us, his second year. Linval Joseph, second year. All these guys, typically, they don’t know anybody; they don’t know where their locker is, all this stuff. You throw that in with new terminology, whatever. I think he’s going to play great.”

The Vikings removed the interim tag from offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski and hired Gary Kubiak as an offensive adviser. Kubiak coached under Mike Shanahan with the Broncos and had Kyle Shanahan as an assistant coach with him in Houston.

“It’s definitely going to help Kirk,” Zimmer said. “The system, the terminology, the things [Kubiak] has done really well with the Shanahan’s, with Kyle and coach [Mike] Shanahan, it’s definitely going to help.”