ESPN has recently doubled down on its habit of hiring former players to be commentators and analysts during broadcasts. So, when they wanted someone to comment on Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, former quarterback Dan Orlovsky seemed like a logical choice.
When he is touted as a 12-year NFL veteran, he sounds like someone who has been around the block a few times. He’s been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt. He’s earned the right to be critical, has the experience to back up what he says, and knows what he’s talking about.
Or at least that is what ESPN wants us to believe.
So, what if he only played in 26 games (started 12) for four different teams during his 12-year career. He’s been there—so he understands your struggle, Kirk Cousins, and doesn’t think you have anything to apologize for.
In Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Bears, Kirk Cousins failed to get the offense on track yet again, and the team lost 16-6. After the game, wide receiver Adam Thielen was critical of the team’s offense—especially the struggles in the passing game.
While not directly critical of Cousins, his intent was clear— his quarterback needs to play better. Cousins agreed and had Thielen come on his podcast “Under Center with Kirk Cousins,” so that he could apologize to his receiver:
“I really want to apologize to him because there’s too many opportunities where we could have hit him on Sunday, and postgame when I talk to the media, I always say until I watch the film, it’s hard for me to really give you a straight answer. Well, now it’s Tuesday night. I’ve watched the film. And the reality is there were opportunities for him.”
Some have called the apology unnecessary. Others have said it was just a PR move. Soon-to-be-unemployed Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer called it “nice.”
Orlovsky, using his vast experience as an NFL quarterback and every journalistic secret he picked up earning his general studies degree from UConn, lambasted Cousins’ apology as “weak sauce.”
Playing quarterback is hard, says the man who threw 15 touchdowns in nearly as many seasons, and Cousins shouldn’t have to apologize for sucking.
Is he wrong? Not entirely. These guys are professionals; if something needed to be said, the locker room or after a team meeting would have been more appropriate.
But Orlovsky’s words would hold more weight if his own “sauce” had not been so unbelievably weak during his playing days. But maybe that is why ESPN chose him to comment on Cousins.
Who knows “weak sauce” better than a backup quarterback who completed 298 passes during his illustrious 12-year career?