While Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey made headlines this week for his candid — and occasionally unflattering — evaluations of quarterbacks around the NFL, he reserved some more complimentary words for Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“I think he’s good. I think he’s a winner,” Ramsey said in an interview with GQ magazine. “Coming off the play-action, he’s the best quarterback in the league.”
The numbers would back up Ramsey’s evaluation. According to Pro Football Focus, Cousins had the league’s second-highest passer rating off play-action last season at 118.7. That success, Cousins said Thursday, is a result of diligent film study — but it can be undone if there’s not the same attention to detail from the rest of the offense.
“I think you want to watch tape of yourself from the camera angle being at linebacker level,” he said. “You want to see, ‘What does it look like from a linebacker’s point of view [with] my action? And then what does my run game look like from that point of view? How dissimilar or similar are they?’ And then, if the right guard on a run play is firing off the ball, and on a play-action pass is setting, I can fake as hard as I want; the linebacker’s going to feel that difference in the O-lineman’s demeanor.
“So, making sure your linemen are firing off with low pad level, even if they’re not going down the field to make the block, to give that illusion initially really helps. And then, you’ve got to have a good mesh with the running back. Although he’s looking in protection and has to have his eyes on the pass game, to be able to really sell that mesh, like he’s trying to run the football, makes a big difference. And then you want to show the ball, snap that ball back and get your eyes up.”
Zimmer on joint practices
After wrapping up two days of joint sessions with the Jaguars, Zimmer said he’d consider holding practices with another team again.
“I think it depends on the team and things like that,” he said. “Both teams were very respectful of one another. There was really no fighting or nothing like that. No trash talking. It went really smooth.”
The Vikings also spent two days in Cincinnati in 2016 before the preseason opener.
Severe weather forced Thursday’s practice indoors, and the Vikings required fans to head to their cars. The Vikings and Jaguars returned to finish the session outside, but only a smattering of fans returned.
“I feel bad for the fans that had to leave,” Zimmer said. “They’ve been outstanding this whole camp.’’
Price out for season
• Tight end Josiah Price, who injured his right knee during practice on Wednesday, is out for the season after tearing his ACL, according to a league source.
• The Vikings on Thursday were also without defensive end Everson Griffen, who is recovering from a cut on his leg that became infected earlier this week. Right tackle Rashod Hill remained out, and right guard Mike Remmers only participated in individual drills as he continues to return from an ankle injury.
• Wide receiver Brandon Zylstra (hamstring) returned to practice for individual drills. Defensive end Tashawn Bower, wide receiver Stacy Coley and running back Mack Brown remained out. Tight end Blake Bell and linebacker Kentrell Brothers also did not practice Thursday.