Browning “takes charge” of Vikings, other absent QBs

EAGAN, Minnesota (AP) – Jake Browning left Washington with more wins than any player in Pac-12 history, a four-year starter with a productive career put him in the company of a long line of remarkable Huskies quarterbacks.

His experience in the NFL was in stark contrast to the pageantry of the National Semifinals he reached in sophomore and the Rose Bowl which served as his last college game.

Browning’s first two years as a pro were exclusively behind-the-scenes work with the Minnesota Vikings training team, as he took unglamorous steps to try and climb the depths table and take foothold in a league that chews and spits every year. another list of prospects.

“Basically finding any possible way I can improve myself without actually taking a ton of reps,” said Browning, who suddenly found himself in a tough spot this week when starter Kirk Cousins ​​and substitutes Kellen Mond and Nate Stanley have been sidelined by COVID-19 protocols.

He also took advantage of these additional opportunities.

After telling head coach Mike Zimmer not to cut his games on Saturday, the first day Cousins ​​and Company were away, Browning turned heads with a crisp performance under the lights at the team’s premises. He has continued to lead the offense confidently since then, with Emergency Free Agents Danny Etling and Case Cookus joining the camp this week to lighten the load.

“I’ve learned he’s a good leader,” Zimmer said. “He’s a good competitor. I have seen him take charge here in all practices. Instead of sitting in the back and biding his time, he takes matters into his own hands and throws, understands what’s going on, and I think the guys are feeling it.

Mond has tested positive for the virus, and Zimmer only shrugged when asked on Wednesday when the rookie might be back. The cousins ​​and Stanley, who were considered close high-risk contacts, were due to resume training on Thursday, Zimmer said.

Being the only quarterback vaccinated can only help Browning’s cause secure second place, but managing his unexpected time well this week in the spotlight will go even further.

Gary Kubiak used to say, ‘Nobody knows if you’re ready until you’re thrown in there,’ “said Browning, adding,” It’s part of being a substitute in this league. You always have to be ready.

Browning never had a redshirt in college, so the past two years have been a big adjustment.

“I spent a lot of time in the weight room. I think in general having some success and then not getting drafted definitely makes you look in the mirror and say, “Alright. I wasn’t drafted for a reason. What do I need to improve myself in? ‘ Browning said.

One of those areas was arm strength, so he started working with quarterback coaches ahead of the 2019 scout combine. Once he hooked up with the Vikings, he became essential to learn about the art and science of preparing for NFL games. Kubiak, the widely admired former offensive coordinator and advisor who retired after last season, has been an invaluable resource.

“A lot of the work Jake has done over the past couple of years, no one really knows, but he came with me and absorbed the playbook a lot faster than I could have had,” said offensive lineman Uli Odoh, who played the role of the first team. both on the right guard and on the left tackle. “He did a great job.

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