In his first opportunity to address a PFT report regarding multiple offensive players being frustrated with quarterback Kirk Cousins, during a weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan in D.C.’s Grant & Danny, Cousins didn’t dispute or debunk or deride.
“It’s understandable,” Cousins said of the report, via BreakingBurgundy.com. “All I know to do as a leader, as a football player having been in this position before, having faced adversity before is you regroup. You don’t put your tail between your legs. You don’t get scared. You don’t go cry in a corner. You feel like you got put up against a wall and you come out swinging. We have to get this done. We have to play better. I have to play better. You take ownership, you step to the forefront and you lead and you challenge guys and you say what you need to do better. I think together, we can do that. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what I’ve done my whole life, my whole life as a football player. This no different. This not new territory for me. I’ve faced challenges before, adversity before on the football field. We’re going to find a way to move forward and play better. We’re going to do it together.”
Coach Jay Gruden, in a Monday press conference, seemed to acknowledge that players are frustrated generally, even if he didn’t specifically pin the cause of it on Cousins.
“You know, these guys are great competitors,” Gruden said. “They want to win and they know that we have a very talented football team and to be 0-2 at home, losing to the Cowboys, losing to the Steelers, is kind of a shock to everybody. We expected great things this year; we still do. So frustrations will be seen and that’s just pro football. That’s just the competitive nature of these guys and I appreciate the way they are competing and the way they’re playing, but we have to understand that we have a long way to go. We can’t lose faith in one another, can’t point fingers, can’t blame anybody. We’ll all have to point at ourselves and get ourselves out of this rut, and like I said before, I have total faith these guys will do it.”
Gruden also spoke on behalf of the guys when he spoke about the confidence in Cousins.
“We have total faith that Kirk will get it done and he will get it done,” Gruden said. “He has proven that he can be a successful quarterback in this league. He can make all the throws without a doubt. Guys have got to just continue to run hard for him, block hard for him and good things will happen. We have a very skilled offensive group, we really do. We have a tough offensive line that is protecting their butts off and can block. We have all of the makings to be a great offense, but right now we are not great. But we’ll continue to push them and get better and I think the guys will have faith that Kirk will get it turned around, our offense will get it turned around, as long as everybody does their job.”
There’s that “do your job” saying again, sort of. While the Patriots try to claim sole ownership of it, the brilliantly simple three-word refrain (sometimes with four, when a seven-letter version of a four-letter “F” word is added to it) should apply to any football team. With 11 positions on offense and 11 positions on defense and special teams and coaching staffs and front-office employees and everything else, a stubborn focus on doing your job and only doing your job helps avoid frustrations and other distractions because those things aren’t part of your job.
The problem is that plenty of NFL teams have a “do your job” attitude, which means someone is going to fail at doing their job. When that happens, it’s time to keep doing your job, which doesn’t entail wallowing in defeat and otherwise being upset about how things didn’t go your way.
It’s all easier said that done, but Washington needs to do it if Washington wants to turn around an 0-2 start with a visit to New Jersey to face the Giants.