Former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman continued his media tour after being fired earlier this month, making an appearance on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday.
While Spielman gave his thoughts on several issues, Cowherd asked Spielman if a team needs an offensive coach to survive in the NFL. His answer potentially gave a glimpse into the relationship between Kirk Cousins and Mike Zimmer.
“I think the No. 1 thing you’re looking for is that head coach has to have a relationship with that quarterback," Spielman said. "And can a defensive head coach connect with that quarterback? Now, you know an offensive coach is probably going to be able to because that’s his job. But can a defensive coach do the same thing?"
From afar, the relationship between Cousins and Zimmer appeared contentious. After signing with the Vikings in 2018, Zimmer watched as Cousins put up great stats but his defense began to deteriorate due to the strain Cousins' contract put on the salary cap.
When Cousins missed five days of training camp after being an unvaccinated close contact to Kellen Mond, Zimmer criticized his QB in a press conference.
Cousins later revealed that he and Zimmer had just started meeting during the week, four years into their partnership. Zimmer begged Cousins to "keep going for the jugular" and Cousins deflected responsibility for calling timeouts.
It could be a reason why Spielman added this caveat to his answer.
"Just looking back through the history here and talking to you earlier, the last two defensive coaches that faced off in the Super Bowl were Bill Belichick and Dan Quinn." Spielman said. "Both of them had great offensive coordinators, Kyle Shanahan, Josh McDaniels, great quarterbacks in Tom Brady and Matt Ryan when he was rolling in the time. But since then, every head coach that has won a Super Bowl – has been an offensive coach with an excellent quarterback."
With Spielman and Zimmer out of the equation, the question now is if the new head coach will find a relationship with Cousins or a different quarterback.