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Kevin Stefanski confident Gary Kubiak will help Vikings QB Kirk Cousins through Shanahan connection

Kevin Stefanski, Kirk Cousins, Gary Kubiak

Kirk Cousins’ debut season with the Minnesota Vikings didn’t quite go as planned. Still, that hardly means the jury is out on Minnesota signing the veteran signal-caller to a three-year, $84 million contract last spring. In fact, Vikings still believe Cousins will be better going forward, due in part to the addition of offensive advisor Gary Kubiak, who has previous experience working with Mike and Kyle Shanahan, Cousins’ coaches with the Washington Redskins.

“I think that all helps,” offensive coordinator Ed Stefanski said when asked about Kubiak’s influence on Cousins, per Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. “It’s no secret Kirk came up under both coach Shanahans and had some success in that system. There are a lot of similarities then to what we are doing moving forward. There are a couple, obviously you evolve I would hope year-to-year and I hope really week-to-week that our offense looks different.”

Cousins threw for 4,298 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions while completing a career-high 70.1 percent of his passes in 2018. But he finished with an average QBR of 61.9 and led an offense that ranked 19th by scoring 22.5 points per game. Minnesota, a trendy Super Bowl pick before the season, ended up going 8-7-1, missing out on the playoffs after a loss to the Chicago Bears in the regular season finale.

Stefanski was hired as the team’s full-time offensive coordinator in January. He’d previously assumed the position on an interim basis following the December ouster of John DeFilippo. Kubiak, meanwhile, who has over two decades of NFL coaching experience, spent the past two seasons as senior personnel advisor of the Denver Broncos.