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Kirk Cousins is Chasing Excellence in Minnesota

New Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins explains that he’s committed to the pursuit of excellence as both team leader and Christ follower. Read Transcript


- [Narrator] Better late than never.

After having to pass on free agency twice,

quarterback Kirk Cousins finally cashes in

with a first fully-guaranteedcontract in NFL history

as the six-year veteranarrives in Minnesota

to join the Vikings'pursuit for a championship,

after a soulful, faithful search.

- During your shotgun,free agent too, right?

- Yeah, exactly.

- You were very clear thatyour decision in leading

was his and not yours.

What did you learn abouthim as a decision maker?

- Well, I learned he's decisive

and the Holy Spirit is never confused.

So if there's disagreement,

the problem's probablyon our end, not on his.

He's always spoken tome through his peace.

We have the benefit of other experiences

where we've trusted him,

so here we are again makingthat decision to come here

and believing that God's in it.

- You step into this storied franchise

that has come close toa Super Bowl win before,

but the perception now is

Kirk's here to lead us to getthat first Super Bowl win.

Can you see why hebrought you to Minnesota?

- We fit so well here,

how this is a greatenvironment for me to thrive

and have success on the field,

but success personally and relationally

with the people I goto work with everyday.

So, we'll see.

Hopefully it turns into alot of wins this season,

but whether or not it does,

you know, we know that theLord has brought us here

and he has a plan.

- Kirk being tagged,

restricted in your free agencyover the last few years,

what have you learnedabout trust with him,

with organizations and with others?

- I think he allowed me tobe on one-year contracts,

in a way, to help grow my faith muscle

and develop that in me.

He's never late,

but he's also seldom early.

I have to be willing to be patient

to allow God's plan tounfold and not go ahead

and try to make my owncircumstances happen for me.

I've learned that he can be trusted

for every need and desire,

but at the same time,

that may require patience on my end.

- Kirk, with the signing of that contract,

and at the time the largest, the richest,

and the first fully-guaranteed,

the perception can quickly default to:

you're secured, everything'sgonna be taken care of.

- Yeah.

- But underneath that,

what uncertainties and insecurities

would go still unnoticed?

- I wasn't brought hereto sign a contract.

I was brought here to win football games.

While the contract part may be settled

for the next three years,

I do have feelings of inadequacy.

Many times, I say,

"Lord, if you don't showup, I'm in trouble."

There's still a level of dependence on him

that on one hand creates some humility

but at the same time doescreate some insecurities

that the Lord's got tomeet me in those moments.

- I'm gonna call youCaptain Kirk on this one.

- Yeah.

- What is that one traitthat is a must-have

for you when leading alpha males forward?

- Guys can see through fake.

They can tell someone who'sjust trying to check the box.

I've got to be KirkCousins and believe that

that'll be good enough.

I think at times whereI've failed as a leader

is probably when I haven'tallowed the Holy Spirit to lead

and when I do allow theHoly Spirit to handle it

I think that's when I'mmost successful as a leader.

- Your dad is a pastor.

What do you borrow from pastoral care

when leading as a quarterback?

- I don't know what I don'tborrow from pastoral care

if I lead as a quarterback.

My dad is really the biggest

leadership influence in my life,

and I believe Jesus was thegreatest leader that ever lived

and I think he had themost impact on humanity

of anybody who ever walked the planet.

I want to learn what hedid and what made him that,

and hopefully try to replicate it again

as a quarterback in the NFL.

- What do you think ismost underappreciated

about the role of a starting quarterback?

- There is a great deal of pressure

and there are high demands.

The margin for error is very small.

As a result, it can create alot of tension in your life

and you have to be in a healthyplace to handle adversity

and manage all that comes your way.

Ultimately, we all aredealing with similar things

just in different capacities,

and I'm no different as a quarterback.

- That obsessive followingof game performance

and the scrutiny that comes with it,

where is your source of affirmation?

- The phrase, "audience of one."

At the end of the day,

our affirmation has to come from one,

and that is our heavenly father.

Knowing who we are in him,

regardless of how ourperformance comes and goes

on the football field.

That has to be the core of an athlete,

to really be in a healthy place.

- If you could huddle up the church,

how would you encourage her?

How would you challenge her?

(sigh)

- From an encouragement standpoint,

that God's plan forredemption of the world

is through the local church.

You're it, and you're right in the center

of how he wants to impact this world.

As a challenge, I would just say,

how are you stewarding that?

I'd like to think that withChrist leading the church,

that there's no better leader to make sure

that she ends up where she needs to be.

- The competitive nature of an athlete

and how it has to be left at the door,

in your walk that requiresremarkable tenacity.

What does the elite competitorand the Christ-follower

have in common?

- Excellence.

I think a competitoris chasing excellence.

I think a Christ-followeris chasing excellence.

Competing with every fiber of our being,

with everything we have.

Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do,"

including NFL football,

"work at it with all your heart

"as working for the Lord, not for men."

I want to chase excellence

and I'm on that journeyjust like everybody else.

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