How Will Kirk Cousins Fit Into the Falcons' Offense?

Atlanta Falcons' Quarterback Search Hits Critical Juncture.

by Nouman Rasool
How Will Kirk Cousins Fit Into the Falcons' Offense?
© Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Tostitos

In a move to solidify their quarterback position since the departure of Matt Ryan to the Indianapolis Colts on March 21, 2022, the Atlanta Falcons have experienced a tumultuous search for a reliable successor. Initially setting their sights on Deshaun Watson, who ultimately signed a historic $230 million fully guaranteed contract with the Cleveland Browns, the Falcons' journey saw them navigate through various options, including Marcus Mariota and third-round draft pick Desmond Ridder, in a year marked by a less-than-stellar quarterback draft class.

The Falcons' attempts to stabilize the position saw Mariota benched for underperformance and a reliance on Ridder, who, along with his peers from the 2022 draft class, has struggled to secure a starting role. This period of uncertainty led to the Falcons bringing in Taylor Heinicke as a potential stopgap solution, though success remained elusive, prompting criticism from team owner Arthur Blank about the deficiency at the quarterback position.

Falcons' Leadership Shift

The culmination of these struggles led to a significant change in leadership, with Arthur Smith being relieved of his duties as head coach. Entering the 2024 offseason, the Falcons found themselves in a familiar predicament, desperately seeking a quarterback to lead the team forward.

Enter Kirk Cousins, the former Minnesota Vikings quarterback whose free agency marked the beginning of a new chapter for the Falcons. Cousins' decision to join Atlanta is seen as a pivotal move, aimed at revitalizing the team's offensive strategy under new coordinator Zac Robinson, who plans to implement a system reminiscent of Sean McVay's successful scheme with the Los Angeles Rams.

Robinson, inheriting an offense that starkly contrasts with the Rams' prolific 11 personnel usage, aims to introduce a dynamic and flexible playbook, leveraging Cousins' experience and proficiency in a similar system. Cousins, known for his accuracy and leadership, brings a wealth of experience, having worked with notable talents in Minnesota, and is poised to elevate Atlanta's offensive play with promising young talents like Drake London and Kyle Pitts.

Reflecting on his past success and the potential for replication in Atlanta, Cousins' arrival signifies a hopeful future for the Falcons. With a more accurate quarterback at the helm and a wealth of skilled players at his disposal, Atlanta is poised to enter the upcoming season with renewed optimism, reminiscent of the stability and leadership once provided by Matt Ryan.

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