Dane Mizutani: If you dislike Vikings’ Kirk Cousins, you won’t after watching ‘Quarterback’ on Netflix

21 July 2023

There’s a illuminating stretch in the penultimate episode of the Netflix docuseries “Quarterback” during which Kirk Cousins fully establishes himself as a fan favorite.

After a heartbreaking loss in the first round of the playoffs, Cousins, who might be the Vikings’ most polarizing player, is shown sitting alone at his locker. He stares straight ahead as he tries to come to grips with what he later calls the toughest loss of his career.

The next scene features Cousins in his Ford Expedition with his wife Julie. He goes out of his way to sign autographs for a couple of fans on his way out of the parking lot, then uses the 30-minute car ride to vent some of his frustrations from a game the Vikings should have won.

As soon as Cousins walks through the door of the family home, the disappointment takes a backseat, and he immediately shifts into Dad Mode. He helps get his oldest son Cooper ready for bed, then reads a book to his youngest son Turner before turning out the lights and saying a prayer.

All of it was Kirk Cousins in his truest form.

Asked last month why he agreed to be a part of “Quarterback” in the first place, Cousins said he thought it would be a good opportunity to let people see the real him.

That’s exactly what the world got from start to finish.

Gone is the diplomatic version of Cousins that existed only in the cliches he provides during his weekly press conferences.

It was a breath of fresh air to see Cousins with his guard down. Not often has the 34-year-old quarterback let the masses see that side of him.

That’s the beauty of “Quarterback” as it gives fans an inside look at what it’s like to play the most difficult position in professional sports. Aside from Cousins, the crew also chronicles the lives of two other NFL quarterbacks — the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes and the Atlanta Falcons’ Marcus Mariota.

Though it’s pretty clear from the jump that Mahomes is going to be the star of the show, Cousins wins over a lot of people whenever he appears on screen.

After leaning into his dorkiness last year — the hilarious “Kirko Chainz” bit stands out — this production provides even more insight into who Cousins is at his core.

He’s a student of the game. He’s a tough S.O.B.. And he’s a family man, through and through.

The way Cousins is seen fully immersing himself into the new playbook is something else. Though he seems to be swimming early on, Cousins does everything in his power to make sure he and head coach Kevin O’Connell are always on the same page. Not only is he among the first to arrive at TCO Performance Center on a daily basis, Cousins studies hard away from the practice facility, as well, going as far as listening to voice recordings of himself on his drives so that the play calls become second nature.

You also gain a greater appreciation for Cousins as he’s seen playing through pain despite taking a tremendous amount of punishment. Whether it’s absorbing a vicious hit while delivering a strike against the Washington Commanders, or battling bruised ribs pretty much the whole game against the Buffalo Bills, the fact that Cousins always found a way to get up and keep going speaks to his toughness.

“Did we score?”

Nothing stops @KirkCousins8 from trying to get on the board pic.twitter.com/7j8l4b8VEx

— NFL Films (@NFLFilms) July 14, 2023

As impressive as both of those things are in the grand scheme of playing the position, getting to see Cousins interact with his family is the biggest takeaway, without a doubt. He comes across as a good husband to his wife Julie, always taking Tuesdays off throughout the regular season so they have time for each other. He’s also a good father father to his sons Cooper and Turner, making sure they both feel important no matter how busy his schedule is.

As the Netflix docuseries “Quarterback” comes to a close, Cousins is shown adding a few more things to his memory room tucked away inside his dream home near Lake Michigan. There are countless items inside the memory room that document the journey Cousins has been on since he first picked up a football.

Notably, there’s a little notch reserved for a Lombardi Trophy, which is something Cousins is still chasing.

After “Quarterback”, it’s probably safe to say Cousins will now have more people cheering him on in that pursuit.

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