Cousins targeting Rudolph ‘like throwing into a mattress’

This offseason in Minnesota for Kirk Cousins has been shaped by get-to-know-them moments, whether new coaches, plays or teammates with the Vikings.

It’s funny when you sit there: The nurses are getting ready for pre-op, and the doctors are talking to you. I honestly feel like I’m in the dentist office getting my teeth cleaned. It’s so routine, at this point, Rudolph said. I think at times, your family and friends are more worried about it than you are.

If differently means better, Anzalone’s return could be a significant boon to a young defense that improved considerably during the Saints’ playoff run last season.

We were really pleased last year, early in the year, when he was playing, Saints coach Sean Payton said. He’s smart. He’s someone that has good range. He can play on three downs. He’s someone who we think is a good player on third down. That gives you flexibility at linebacker.

The key, for him, is just staying healthy.

Twice during an unfulfilled career at Florida, the 6-foot-3, 241-pound Anzalone dislocated his right shoulder. Those injuries were major reasons why he played just 18 games in four seasons with the Gators. Yet, when he played, his talent was so apparent that the Saints used one of two 2017, third-round draft choices last year to select him.

I think everybody individually does things a little differently, Thielen said. As a quarterback, every quarterback has their strengths and their weaknesses. I think the thing [Cousins] really brings to the table is the way that he leads, and his passion for the game of football. It has been really fun working with him and learning this offense together.

As a receiver group, we’re really excited to keep getting some reps with him, and especially in some live situations. It has been a while since we’ve gone against a live defense so we’re excited to do that.

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