The other rookie quarterback on the Redskins’ roster isn’t worried about the starting job. Rather, Kirk Cousins’ job, for now, is to worry about getting better. So while Robert Griffin III must worry about fulfilling expectations while learning the NFL game, Cousins is worried about his own development.
So rather than get excited about any of his throws vs. Buffalo, Cousins had something else that pleased him. He said he was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable he was hearing the plays in the headset, then communicating it to the offense while knowing what every player was doing.
It’s part of the building process for most rookie quarterbacks.
“I was surprised how second nature it was,” he said.
And Cousins said he’s been working on a fundamental change.
“They emphasize here playing with a base and playing with your feet wide and making all your throws with a shoulder turn,” Cousins said. “That had never been emphasized prior to me coming here.”
Cousins will play in front of some familiar faces Saturday, having grown up in Chicago until he was 13 years old. He attended games at Soldier Field with his dad – even seeing current teammate Rex Grossman guide a comeback win over Atlanta one season.
“It was like negative five that day,” Cousins said.
Now Grossman is someone mentoring him, possibly to eventually take his job as a backup.
“He’s been awesome,” Cousins said. “He’s been very helpful. We’re out there throwing today and he’s out there catching for us to run routes. Very unselfish.”
Cousins said his father did prayer chapel with the Bears and became friends with Mike Singletary and Leslie Frazier.
Cousins has steadily improved since training camp began, cutting down on interceptions in practice while showing a strong arm and enough mobility to run the bootlegs favored by coach Mike Shanahan. Against Buffalo, he showed poise in the pocket.
Of course, Cousins won’t get many opportunities to play once the season begins barring injuries. He said he and Griffin have a “great relationship” and called him a “likeable guy.” The one thing Cousins isn’t worried about is being stuck as some sort of career backup.
“I need to have the long view in mind and if I do that I think good things will come,” he said.