Kirk Cousins on Jaguars Hiring Jay Gruden: 'I Don't Think They Could've Done Any Better Than Coach Gruden'
The announcement of Jay Gruden as the Jacksonville Jaguars' new offensive coordinator was met with positive reactions from around the league, including from one of Gruden's former protégés.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, speaking with Jaguars reporter Ashlyn Sullivan in Orlando during Pro Bowl week, expressed how highly he thinks of his former head coach in Washington and why he thinks he'll be successful in Jacksonville.
"It was a great hire. I don't think they could've done any better than coach Gruden," Cousins said. "So experienced, he's had so much production in calling plays with a variety of different players in a variety of different places. So he will do a great job with that team, with that system, and I think everybody is in a good place hiring him."
Cousins saw a lot of success under Gruden's tutelage from 2014-2017, throwing for 4,000 yards and 25 or more touchdowns in each of his seasons starting for Gruden. Gruden helped Cousins earn Pro Bowl honors in 2016 as Washington's offense, which posted team records in total net yards (6,545), net passing yards (4,758) and yards per play (6.40), ranked in the top three in the NFL in all three categories.
Cousins was a backup when Gruden first arrived in Washington, but by the time the partnership was over he was a bonafide starting signal-caller and was eventually paid handsomely by Minnesota.
"You know, when he came in I was a nobody in this league. I couldn't even spell Pro Bowl," Cousins said. "And so i look at his development with me and the work he did through 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017. I was with him for four years. I owe him him a great deal for my progression and my development as a player, and he knows that. I expect him to do the same with a lot of those young players in Jacksonville."
One of those young players Gruden will be tasked with developing as a part of head coach Doug Marrone's staff will be Gardner Minshew II. Minshew went 6-6 as a rookie starter in 2019 after being selected in the sixth-round, and the hope in Jacksonville is undoubtedly that Gruden can develop Minshew to a similar degree that he developed Cousins.
Gruden will also be tasked with improving an offense that was 26th in scoring in 2019. But in Cousins's eyes, his former coach can be a quick remedy for a Jaguars team which badly needs one.
"Very excited for him. He deserves it. He's a great coach. They'll have success, they'll move the ball."