Skip to main content

'He's a funny guy:' How Kirk Cousins uses his personality to bond with teammates, bridge generational gaps 

Teammates are getting acquainted with Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins' personality from constant dad jokes to early 2000s movie quotes.  

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — There's a lore around Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins that teammates are continuing to learn.

Let's call it, "Kirklore."

Whether he's cracking jokes, making constant movie references or taking players out to chain restaurants like Texas Roadhouse — RIP, Red Lobster, Cousins made sure to mention — Cousins infuses his personality into the Falcons' day-to-day during offseason training.

"Most of my young teammates would tell you that it has kind of a dad-joke vibe to it," Cousins said, "but I think they would tell you my humor lands with them."

That's perhaps no better displayed than in the locker room.

Cousins' stall resides beside that of running back Bijan Robinson. There's a 13-year age difference between the two.

"One time, (Cousins) was saying something that he's done 'back in the day,' as I call it," Robinson said. "And I was like, 'Bro, I was born in 2002.'"

Cousins was born in 1988, for comparison.

While Robinson joked that Cousins is old enough to be his dad, the notion was slightly hyperbolic. It did, however, speak volumes to how – despite some age disparities spanning over a decade – Cousins is still able to find ways to bond with his younger teammates.

"Honestly, it's a blessing," Cousins said. "I hope someday that the gap is even bigger because it means I'm still playing and still connecting."


Cousins often invokes one quote in particular from the movie, "Heavyweights," to connect with his younger teammates: "I know you because I was you." Whenever Cousins sees them do something foolish or make a mistake, he simply repeats that phrase. The line's origin comes before a lot of their time and may go over their heads, but the message remains true.

Most of Cousins' movie references date back to the early 2000s. He can at least count on left tackle Jake Matthews to laugh on his behalf, since Matthews is only three years younger and tends to understand.

"He's a funny guy," Matthews said. "But I can't say enough how much I've been impressed with just the way he's come in here. Just from day one, it was personal. It just clicked."

Cousins connects with teammates and injects his personality by making jokes on and off the field. They're subtle, though, given Cousins' dry humor. If teammates don't understand the "Kirklore," running back Tyler Allgeier said, they might not catch it.

Falcons head coach Raheem Morris frequently notices it after giving a play call, as Cousins will often throw out a quip breaking the huddle.

"He gets a real good energy and real authentic-ness about it, and it's kind of fun to watch," Morris said. "It always makes you smile when you're back there watching no matter how many times you see it. He's a lot of fun to be around."

It's all a part of Cousins' cadence, which the offensive line has gotten to know well into organized team activities, but it also began before that.

In the infancy of OTAs, Cousins organized a meeting dedicated to cadence with the entire offense. Matthews said Cousins' detail in going over different inflections, silent counts and more before they got on the field together was profound. It certainly helped.

And while dad jokes surely weren't a part of the meeting, they showed up on the field soon enough.

"I try to lead with presence and have a little bit of force of personality," Cousins said. "When I step in the huddle, I try to make sure it's not just blah — that you're communicating well, that there's some presence there — and you got some charisma."

Related Content