Kirk Cousins [1296x729]
Kirk Cousins [1296x729] (Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins, coach Raheem Morris and most of his staff, including offensive coordinator Zac Robinson, are new to the Falcons, but that doesn't mean there's not a level of familiarity.

Cousins comes from the Minnesota Vikings, with whom he played under coach Kevin O'Connell. Both O'Connell and Robinson (and Morris, for that matter) are part of the coaching tree of Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay. O'Connell was the Rams offensive coordinator in 2020 and 2021 with Robinson the assistant wide receivers coach and assistant quarterbacks coach on the same staff. Robinson was a McVay assistant in L.A. from 2019 to 2023 before Morris brought him to Atlanta to run his offense.

So while things won't be exactly the same, Robinson plans to run an offense "very similar" to the one McVay had in L.A., which O'Connell had previously brought to Minnesota. 

"Having the comfort of a veteran quarterback like Kirk that's coming from this system -- couldn't ask for anything better," Robinson said Wednesday.

Cousins spoke a lot last week during the first week of OTAs about developing a "shared history" with his new teammates and coaches. That's one of his top priorities, he said -- to accelerate the chemistry and camaraderie, so it doesn't seem like this group has been only practicing together for a few months when the season starts. As far as the offense goes, though, he has noticed some similarities.

"There's a lot of things where you say, 'Great, I had concerns that maybe I would be starting over, but I can spit that play out no problem,'" Cousins said. "'I know that read -- been there, done that.'

"So, there's a little bit of both sides of it, and that's why the time on task together is so helpful."

McVay's offense features many three-wide receiver sets (11 personnel) and plenty of shotgun formations. Robinson's offense might not be exactly the same, but there will be similar elements, he said. The Rams won Super Bowl LVI with Morris, O'Connell and Robinson all on staff and quarterback Matthew Stafford under center.

"Kevin O'Connell took from the Rams, obviously, and did a lot of the same things," Robinson said. "We're kind of in a combination between what they've done [in Atlanta] and the run game, some different things and what we've done with the Rams. And so, it's been a good combination to where Kirk's having to stay up with it, and there is some new information with it.

"He knows everything, because we've installed it, but there was definitely still some learning with some new things."

Robinson, who played quarterback himself, said signal callers feel better about offenses going into their second year with them. He believes rookie QB Michael Penix Jr., who the Falcons took at No. 8 overall in the draft, will feel that way next year.

"If you're talking about Mike like going into Year 2 next year, that's gonna be way different than how he feels right now, where Kirk has already mastered the system," Robinson said.

Cousins, who is coming off a torn right Achilles that ended his 2023 season in Week 8, said Robinson has a "great football mind."

"I think he's a hard worker, and I think he's got a great way about him," Cousins said of Robinson. "The guys will respond to him. And so, we're checking a lot of boxes from that standpoint, and it's about us as players. I keep saying kind of the same thing, is we've gotta put the work in to build that shared history so that we can play in such a way this fall that it looks like we've been together for five years."