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Mike Shanahan: Kirk Cousins a first round talent

Kirk Cousins AP

There’s been some discussion of late about why there’s so much talk about how quickly Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III is recovering from his knee surgery and whether there’s an undue amount of pressure being put on him to make it back for the start of the 2013 season.

Obviously Griffin’s long-term health is the chief reason to be prudent with his return, but Kirk Cousins is another reason why the Redskins can afford to be certain that Griffin is ready. Cousins handled himself well in two relief appearances and one start when Griffin was hurt during the regular season and coach Mike Shanahan clearly thinks that the team got a special talent when they landed Cousins in the fourth round of last year’s draft.

“There’s no question in my mind. I thought he was a first round draft choice last year,” Shanahan said, via the team’s website. “There are different people that make a living looking at players. I thought he was one of the best players in the draft last year, but you’re not always right. They’ve got to go out and perform at a high level.”

Cousins will be running the offense during OTAs, something he said he plans to prove to his teammates that he’s confident and capable enough to handle the starting job. He’s not RGIII and he’ll never be RGIII, but Cousins’ work last year and Shanahan’s belief in his ability should be enough to convince the rest of the team that he can do the job in Griffin’s place.

And, more importantly, it should be enough to convince them that it’s better to play Cousins for a little while if it raises the chance of playing with Griffin for a much longer period of time.

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43 Responses to “Mike Shanahan: Kirk Cousins a first round talent”
  1. ajb3313 says: Mar 5, 2013 3:18 PM

    This is the same as an agent whose client is about to become a free agent saying he thinks the player is “top five” or whatever.

  2. bensawesomeness says: Mar 5, 2013 3:18 PM

    As a current Michigan State senior, having watched Kirk while he was here, I agree that he’s got starter potential.

    Do us proud, Captain Kirk

  3. williamjg says: Mar 5, 2013 3:19 PM

    Captain Kirk!!!

  4. contract says: Mar 5, 2013 3:20 PM

    Playing a crippled RGIII over a healthy Cousins speaks far louder than anything Shanahan says.

  5. Brad Smith says: Mar 5, 2013 3:21 PM

    Translation: We want to trade him one day and first round compensation would suffice.

  6. wwwfella says: Mar 5, 2013 3:23 PM

    besides a good brother a good cousin is a great thing to have lol

  7. junebughttr says: Mar 5, 2013 3:24 PM

    skins are gonna have to protect him better with those designed runs, but he should definitely keep that element in his game. he should work his ass off to get back for the team, but know that the team can operate just fine with kirk in his absence. I wish RG3 a speedy recovery, and now is the time for kirk to bump up his trade value

  8. Lev says: Mar 5, 2013 3:25 PM

    I’m inclined to believe this after the way Shanahan touted Alfred Morris. I’d be willing to bet people see him as first round talent now lol

  9. blackqbwhiterb says: Mar 5, 2013 3:26 PM

    “And, more importantly, it should be enough to convince them that it’s better to play Cousins for a little while if it raises the chance of playing with Griffin for a much longer period of time.”

    This is why RG3 will make darn sure he plays week 1…because Cousins is a star in waiting who WILL WIN in the NFL, and RG3 wants to make sure it isn’t in Washington….Write it down, bet on it, make book on it, whatever ridiculous saying you’d like. This kid is a winner, and if RG3 misses the first several games, there will be a QB controversy in DC.

  10. marvsleezy says: Mar 5, 2013 3:34 PM

    I’m so confused, Shanny thought he was a first round draft choice, but felt comfortable taking him in the fourth round after seeing that no one else in the league wanted him in rounds 1, 2, or 3 either?

  11. nineroutsider says: Mar 5, 2013 3:35 PM

    Someone stole my thunder, but Shanahan is starting early on talking up Cousins for a trade. If RG3 returns healthy and stays healthy Cousins is gone next off-season; that is when his trade value will be highest assuming he continues to play well when called upon. His cap number will be so low that the Skins should pull in a killing for him. The new team could wait a year before negotiating a new contract with him so that they don’t get Kolbed.

  12. agelardi says: Mar 5, 2013 3:35 PM

    While I’m sure they are happy to have Kirk at the moment, I bet they will be even happier to trade him away for some high draft picks.

  13. realdealsteel says: Mar 5, 2013 3:40 PM

    I can tell you that the Raiders had Cousins pegged as their next QB before the redskins did the unexpected.

  14. jpk6044 says: Mar 5, 2013 3:42 PM

    The same way John Beck had first round talent…

  15. johnelwayishorsefaced says: Mar 5, 2013 3:45 PM

    It’s awesome how you can see into the future and know he’ll “never be RGIII”

  16. ravenspit says: Mar 5, 2013 3:46 PM

    Great, now he’ll break Cousins too

  17. jwreck says: Mar 5, 2013 3:50 PM

    agelardi says: Mar 5, 2013 3:35 PM

    While I’m sure they are happy to have Kirk at the moment, I bet they will be even happier to trade him away for some high draft picks.
    _______
    Mostly agree, but I’m sure they will be even happier to let him play out his 4th rd. rookie deal backing up Griffin, then trade him away for some picks.

  18. ccjcsr says: Mar 5, 2013 3:57 PM

    Wait till both contracts are up! Can’t pay two Qb’s top dollar in this league.

  19. maineskinsfan says: Mar 5, 2013 3:59 PM

    Cousins for Larry Fitz!?

  20. jcmeyer10 says: Mar 5, 2013 4:03 PM

    Translation: They miss having a first round draft pick.

  21. jwreck says: Mar 5, 2013 4:04 PM

    jpk6044 says: Mar 5, 2013 3:42 PM

    The same way John Beck had first round talent…
    __________
    The same way Belichick was going to turn around Haynesworth’s career? Even the best talent evaluators are allowed to be wrong sometimes. Besides, I’m pretty sure Beck was Kyle Shanahan’s call.

    Secondly, if you have actually seen Cousins play it would be hard to question this assertion. You also have to cinsder that first round talent doesn’t necessarily mean 2012 Luck-Griffin-Tannehill-Wilson-style talent. The first round has also brought us such gems as Leinart and Young; Russell and Quinn; Bradford and Tebow; and this year’s island of misfit passers.

    While Shanahan’s not calling Cousins a bust, a question-mark (Bradford), or a fullback playing pretend; he’s saying that if teams really knew how good Cousins would be, he would have been taken in the first round in 12 out of the last 12 years.

  22. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 5, 2013 4:08 PM

    It’s funny how the QBs who actually play generally drop in fans estimations, while those who don’t just get “better” and “better” sitting on the bench.

  23. trollhammer20 says: Mar 5, 2013 4:11 PM

    Two rookie QBs, when one contract comes up for renewal, they both come up for renewal.

    Yep. Cousins’ days in Washington are numbered.

  24. normaneinstein7 says: Mar 5, 2013 4:12 PM

    The same way John Beck had first round talent…

    ——————————————————-
    Comparing Beck to Cousins is an insult. Cousins looked light years better than Beck. Beck was drafted in 2007 and never even won a game in the NFL, while Cousins got a win his first start. Beck looked completely lost during his starts. I’ve never seen anything like it. Cousins pulled off a clutch come from behind drive against the Super Bowl champions and lit up the Browns in Cleveland. At that point, the Browns played every other team close.

    With RG3 recovering, there’s no way the Redskins will trade Cousins this year, unless it’s a great deal.

  25. vaphinfan says: Mar 5, 2013 4:26 PM

    If things continue the way they went this year, granted it was only one year, it will be interesting to see who the skins keep considering cousins played well as a rookie and he keeps improving and rg3 keeps getting hurt who they will keep when contracts are up.

  26. FlyFromTheInside says: Mar 5, 2013 4:27 PM

    He would be the first QB taken in this years draft for sure.

  27. terryleather says: Mar 5, 2013 4:32 PM

    I don’t blame Cousins at all for any of it, but he is without a doubt the most over-rated player of 2012. He’s a back-up that plays a completely different style of game than the starter that the other team prepared to play. Of course he looks good. But now that teams have game film of him, he won’t be a surprise. Does nobody else remember Kevin Kolb?

  28. triangletaddler says: Mar 5, 2013 4:44 PM

    Very first NFL start (on the road):

    26/37 (70.3%) for 329 yards 2TDs and 1INT 104.4 passer rating.

    Kirk Cousins can play in the NFL at a high level.

  29. 808raiderinparadise says: Mar 5, 2013 4:47 PM

    Something tells me Arizona’s mouth is watering with draft picks to be dealt.

  30. peytonsneck18 says: Mar 5, 2013 5:02 PM

    rg3 should have a decent qb behind him, cause he will never play a full season, ever!!! mr. IRG3

  31. mintberrycrunch1 says: Mar 5, 2013 5:22 PM

    If you don’t think Cousins can be a legit NFL QB, then you haven’t watched him play. He should be starting in Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, or Arizona right now. Teams just flat out misjudged his talent and he has the same leadership/work ethic qualities that have helped make Russell Wilson a success.

  32. lks311 says: Mar 5, 2013 5:22 PM

    Make a deal Buffalo. Wave your #2 in front of Shanny and see if he’ll take the bait. By the way, maybe you should have done your homework on him last year.

  33. johnnyb216 says: Mar 5, 2013 5:26 PM

    Translation: We would like a first round pick for Kirk cousins.

  34. skinsfaninillinois says: Mar 5, 2013 5:33 PM

    It would be interesting if RG3 were to be left out in order to continue to heal for the first month or two of the regular season. Then, when he’s ready to return to action, the Redskins are 5-1. What would you do if you were Shanahan in that situation?

  35. cbreezy80 says: Mar 5, 2013 5:37 PM

    For some reason I believe Tampa bay might be listening to Shanny, if Freeman doesn’t get it together I could see the bucs pulling the trigger on this trade!

  36. skinsdiehard says: Mar 5, 2013 5:56 PM

    peytonsneck18 says:
    Mar 5, 2013 5:02 PM
    rg3 should have a decent qb behind him, cause he will never play a full season, ever!!! mr. IRG3
    ———————————————-
    You wish!! Too bad you’re wrong. He played 16 out of 17 games in his rookie year. That’s a full season in my book. Keep counting his Pro-Bowl seasons. RG3 = 1 Luck = 0. Luck was an injury replacement. RG3 was a top 3 vote-getter at QB. Big diffference.

  37. hatesycophants says: Mar 5, 2013 5:58 PM

    Any team that trades a couple “high draft picks” for Kirk Cousins is going to wish they had traded for Matt Flynn… or Scott Mitchell.

    Beginning to really hate and pity Washington fans.

  38. jwreck says: Mar 5, 2013 8:21 PM

    terryleather says: Mar 5, 2013 4:32 PM
    the most over-rated player of 2012. He’s a back-up that plays a completely different style of game than the starter that the other team prepared to play. Of course he looks good. But now that teams have game film of him, he won’t be a surprise. Does nobody else remember Kevin Kolb?
    ____________
    You are right in general about backups impressing because the opposing team had not prepared for them. However it doesn’t really apply in this case, as the offense didn’t change at all. He took fewer snaps from the pistol, and there was only one designed run, but, in general, it was the same offense that teams had seen all year and the same basic offense teams have seen from Shanahan for the last two decades.

  39. thegreatgabbert says: Mar 5, 2013 8:31 PM

    How does someone figure he would be “the first pick in this year’s draft’? The guy turns 25 in a couple months. He is middle aged by NFL standards with one career start.

  40. mrcogburn says: Mar 5, 2013 10:03 PM

    Shanahan has broken RGIII already. Needs to talk up the new starter.

    I am right about this. Do not question me.

  41. blancodiablo says: Mar 5, 2013 10:53 PM

    How about Gabbert and the jags 2nd round pick? No one misses a three yard dink like Gabbie.

  42. allidoiswin55 says: Mar 6, 2013 8:52 AM

    No dog in this race but that comparison of Luck to RG3 ‘S probowl votes was stupid. Lol

    its a popularity contest and while luck was embraced the media and city and redskins praised RG3 as a franchise savior. The truth is all 3 (including Wilson) were deserving but when you see Brady and Peyton theirs only room for 1 other guy. They hoard the votes!

    Your voting argument isn’t subjective.

    Cousins holds tremendous trade value presently and could help the skins recoup some of the RG3 lost picks. But if he has to play and does so poorly that’s out of the Window.

  43. jrh0 says: Apr 2, 2013 4:34 PM

    All depends on the year. Tell you this, if we wanted a first round for him this year we’d probably get one. Fact: there are teams out there that need a QB, and KC is certainly better than anything coming up in this draft class. No offense to Geno Smith, but some QB needy team is going to draft him, probably first round out of need, and whoever they are, I’m sure they’d rather have KC if the could. We DAMN sure could have beat the Kansas City deal. Haha.

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