- ESPN.com national NFL writer
- ESPN.com NFC North reporter, 2008-2013
- Covered Vikings for Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1999-2008
LANDOVER, Md. — The shouts could be heard from outside the Minnesota Vikings’ locker room.
“You like that!”
“You bet I like that!”
“I love that!”
The Vikings honored their quarterback during a postgame celebration in their locker room after Sunday’s 20-17 victory over the Washington Commanders. Kirk Cousins, who as a member of the Washington franchise in 2015 shouted, “You like that!” after a thrilling comeback victory, received a game ball and was asked by coach Kevin O’Connell to break down the team.
Without missing a beat, Cousins bellowed his signature phrase once again at FedEx Field.
“It was the first thing that came to mind,” Cousins said.
Cousins, who spent six seasons with Washington before signing with the Vikings in 2018, had already played and defeated his former team once — a 19-9 victory in 2019 at U.S. Bank Stadium. But Sunday marked the first time that Cousins had played at FedEx Field since 2017, and he felt a range of emotions upon arrival.
“It kind of made me emotional going in on the bus,” Cousins said, “just thinking about that and where things have gone. I’m just so grateful I got to play here and play for the coaches I did.”
Cousins spent several minutes Sunday talking about the impact of playing for former coach Mike Shanahan and his son, then-offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, during his time in Washington.
“They believed in me before I believed in myself,” Cousins said. “I remember my second start at Atlanta in , Kyle dapped me up before the game. He said, ‘Go out and have a great day.’ He’s gassing me up, and I said, ‘I want to prove you right.’ And he said, ‘You don’t have to prove me right. You’re going to be playing in this league for a long time.'”
Nine years later, Cousins completed 22 of 40 passes for 265 yards with two touchdowns along with one interception in leading the Vikings to their sixth consecutive victory. And if he didn’t know before, he knows now: “You like that!” is here to stay.
“I guess those three words will follow me through the rest of my career and maybe my life,” he said.
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