Kirk Cousins thought he’d back up a veteran like Peyton or Vick

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Heading into the NFL draft, Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins thought he’d be chosen by a team that envisioned him as a future starter after a couple years as an apprentice to a thirtysomething veteran. Instead, Cousins was chosen in the fourth round by the Redskins, where he’ll back up No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III — who’s a year and a half younger than him. That’s not what Cousins had in mind.

Cousins said on the Dan Patrick Show that he figured he’d go to the Broncos or Eagles as a backup to Peyton Manning or Michael Vick, and that one of those teams would groom him as its starter of the future. Cousins reiterated that he’s surprised to be a Redskin and didn’t expect them to take him.

“I was shocked, knowing what they had done with the No. 2 pick, and I hadn’t talked to them that much in the process,” Cousins said of the Redskins taking him. “I would have said probably Denver or Philadelphia, in terms of teams that had shown interest and were looking for a quarterback.”

It would be hard to blame Cousins if he’s disappointed to be with the Redskins. In Denver or Philadelphia, Cousins could have learned from Manning or Vick and eventually taken over from them. In Washington, Cousins can only become the starter if Griffin is injured or a major disappointment. Still, Cousins is trying to put a happy face on the situation.

“I still have an opportunity to learn from a nine-year veteran like Rex Grossman,” Cousins said. “I’ll be the first one to say it was a surprising pick to me as well, but coach Shanahan was there in San Francisco with Joe Montana and Steve Young, so he’s not new to this. . . . I know my opportunity is going to come sooner or later.”

Cousins’ opportunity may come, but probably not with the team that drafted him.

95 responses to “Kirk Cousins thought he’d back up a veteran like Peyton or Vick

  1. ‘I still have the oppurtunity to learn how to throw a perfect pick-6 from 9 year veteran RG1’

  2. Dear Cousins,
    Don’t listen to a thing Sexy Rexy Grossman has to say, unless you want to master the art of throwing three interceptions in one game

  3. What is it with the media always trying to create a QB controversy at any given chance? This is the most ridiculous non-story of all time. If RG3 is as good as advertised, he’ll be the starter, and Cousins will back him up.

  4. Redskins are dumb.. no other way to put it, and dont say insurance B.S. if they thought they needed insurance they shouldnt have made griffin 2nd overall pick.. what joke.

  5. Nice dejected picture. I feel pretty bad for Cousins, but its time for him to button up his chin strap and play the good soldier routine. These not so subtle complaints aren’t going to win favor with shanahan or the locker room. He would be best served by quietly learning the playbook and making every effort to present himself during the preseason as desirable trade bait.

  6. Welcome to the working world, Kirk Cousins. Well almost. You get to make millions holding a clipboard while having the best seat in the house. You can hit on the cheerleaders while “working” half the year and spending the rest at your beachside getaway.

    Yeah, I feel real sorry for him.

  7. Who does that? Invite unhappiness into your locker room. You can only play one QB at a time. How about getting some protection for RGIII or someone to throw the ball to. #stinkslikeahomelessmansdick

  8. Those Redskins, you will be backing up Robert GOD3 , that’s the way the redskins fans treats him n talks about him, like some GOD, ALL HAIL, HAHA HAHA, all hail on RG3 nuttz, redskins fans

  9. The writing is on the wall for you when the team that drafts you comes out and states that they drafted you solely with intentions attempt to groom/trade you.

  10. Seems like a bit of a wasted pick to me. The Skins have enough holes to fill (and a lack of 1sts for the next few years), that they need contributers from all their picks. Especially in the 4th or below, they don’t have the advantage of using a luxury pick. The only way this guy really helps the team is if RG3 is hurt or is a bust, in which case they just gave up their next 3 firsts for a bust, and they are screwed anyway.

    In the long run, it could work out if they can develope him, then flip him for a better pick later. But Shannahan doesn’t exactly have a track record of grooming QB’s (Young was a looooong time ago), let alone 2 QB’s, with completely different styles, at the same time.

  11. “‘I still have an opportunity to learn from a nine-year veteran like Rex Grossman,’ Cousins said.”

    Learn what, how to throw interceptions? How to fumble? One thing that all of the talking heads who have slammed this pick seem to miss is that Rex Grossman is awful, and anything that hastens his departure from Washington even as the backup QB, is a good thing for the team and its fans.

  12. He could also become a Kevin Kolb when his contract comes up, so it can still turn out to be a good thing for him.

  13. It would be hard to blame Cousins if he’s disappointed to be with the Redskins.

    You cant blame him. Everybody else the skins picked are disappointed too.

  14. and i thought I’d be married to Scarlett Johansson adn be President of my company by now. guess what, life doesn’t work like that. quit crying and play.

  15. I think this is getting blown way out of proportion. When you draft, while need is important, you mostly grab the best player available on your draft board. If you follow that advice, then Cousins was simply what was there and might have been ranked too high to pass up. Let’s not forget that the Skins gave up a ton to get RG3, I can promise you they are not feeling apprehensive about that pick. Hopefully, Cousins can turn into great trade bait in the future, much like what Philadelphia has done time and time again.

  16. Bobby Massie who is a highly rated OL perfect for Shanahan system went 10 picks after the Cousins pick. How dumb could you be not to add the OL depth than draft a project QB.

  17. I thought the Redskins all but went on record to say that Cousins would be used as trade bait in a year or two to snag a 2nd round pick eventually. Assuming that’s the case, it’s poor planning to tip one’s cap to the rest of the league like that. Had the Skins taken him later in the draft, like round 6 or 7, I doubt many people would bat an eye (Ryan Mallett comes to mind there, as does Matt Cassel). But to waste a 3rd round pick on a guy who the team has all but officially said will be used as trade bait in a year or two is poor planning.

  18. “I still have an opportunity to learn from a nine-year veteran like Rex Grossman,”


    Glad to see I’m not the only one who found this funny….

  19. I don’t understand his comments…He thought that he’d go to a team like Denver or Philly…Denver and Philly picked their potential backups in the 2nd and 3rd round, meaning that they and the rest of the league didn’t think he was more than a #3 QB. That is exactly what he will be in Washington. When the season is over and Rex gets cut, if he’s good enough…he will become #2 or maybe he gets traded to another team. If you look at the 4th round picks that were chosen, personally I would of traded down and picked Massie, but I’m not mad at this pick at all. Cousins can still learn the NFL game, work on his mechanics and grow as a player and a person. He’s viewed as a backup anyway…

  20. The only way to justify the cousins pick is if they are not sold on RG3. Otherwise, why would a team with many needs spend a high pick on a second QB when they already have a quality backup QB on the roster?

    Say what you want about grossman as a starter, but as a backup how many teams have a guy who started a super bowl?

  21. I hope this isnt some passive aggressive poor me routine he going to keep spouting. He needs to just can it and realize RG3 is one devastating hit away from him starting. This is the NFC East and though I hate em, the competition has some potent pass rush packages. RG3 is going to get hit. Remains to be seen what happens next. But to think its some consolation to learn from vet RG3 and out, well he just needs to quit talking, whining or whatever it is.

  22. Can’t believe the front office wasn’t thinking about this when they drafted him… They should have seen this from a mile away.

    Not sure if they have any common sense, or are just too arrogant to think that someone might be unhappy being picked by them, given their current situation?

  23. I can see it now… RGIII struggles, Skins fans get frustrated and start calling for Cousins, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton jump in and say it’s all race-motivated… Only the Skins, man!

  24. If you don’t like it, beat him out. Maybe not feasible in the eyes of fans, but players in the locker room don’t give a damn how many picks the team gave up to get someone, they’ll gravitate towards the guy who is going to help them win.

  25. pettergriffen says: Apr 30, 2012 11:50 AM

    Redskins are dumb.. no other way to put it, and dont say insurance B.S. if they thought they needed insurance they shouldnt have made griffin 2nd overall pick.. what joke.

    First off, I didn’t like the decision to pick up Cousins at all. However the rest of your argument is nonsensical. It’s perfectly possible to need a quarterback and need a back-up for that quarterback simultaneously. If you disagree you have clearly never seen John Beck or Rex Grossman throw a pass. Just because I don’t own my own home doesn’t mean I won’t buy insurance for my house when I do buy a place. Should I continue renting for the rest of my life just because when I do buy a house I also have to buy insurance on it?

    Regardless of what you think of drafting Cousins, I think fans all over the DMV and football lovers across America can let out a sigh of relief that in all likelihood no one will ever have to watch Rex Grossman throw a regular season pass ever again.

  26. So in a couple of years Shanny calls Andy Reid and says, “Hey Andy, remember that two and that three I gave ya for McNabb? How bout you give me those back?”

  27. A disappointing scenario for Cousins, not too different than what happened to Drew Stanton, although Stanton had the benefit of working with good qb coaching in Detroit. It’s hard to tell what they are doing in DC due to the caliber of qbs they’ve been bringing in. Meanwhile, nflfollower, I did not hear any complaint in Cousin’s voice, just a hint of justifiable disappointment. If he works hard and pays attention, as he has in the past, things may work out for him, down the road, on his next team and probably as a competent back up.

  28. How the “#@$%” is Kirk crying?!? … he’s basically saying he was surprised, he’s certainly not crying!

    This is a good learning opportunity … the sooner RG3 starts the better for Kirk … and even if you’re not a fan of Rex Grossman’s performance, he’s a nine year vet like Kirk said …

    … and he sounds quite happy to be working with Shanahan as a teacher …

  29. I was surprised the Skins didn’t pick another QB in the next round, for more insurance. Most teams have 3 QBs and Rex can’t be trusted, right?

    Actually, the most frightening part is that many Skins fans think this is a good pick because their team is only a player or two away from the playoffs or Super Bowl and they want to be ready in case something happens to RGIII.

  30. Cousins has potential, unfortunately due to being picked by the wrong team, his career path will likely emulate the last MSU QB to get picked – Drew Stanton. Eternal backup duty. Not a bad route though, not glorious but make great money and when you retire you’re not too beat up to go enjoy yourself. Accept and find happiness in your situation, Kirk!

  31. Why does everyone hate on the skins. They get someone good and you think they will still suck? they have been rebuilding. They truly have potential this year.

  32. I bet he was surprised, however I think it will work out better for him.

    I love the Griffin pick, however while I love his abilities, he is still a little undersized and likes to run, this means that he will get hit and inevitably get hurt. Actually any player can but mobile QBs seem to have it happen more – Duh right! Well this means that we have a good backup in place.

    For those people that have stated not to use the insurance reason, why don’t you have Rex start a couple games for you, or better yet come and fumble for a TD on the first play he is there.

    There will be plenty of chance for Kirk. Since he went in the 4th round that means every team past on him at least once, and most teams multiple times. More to the point, both teams he mentioned had already drafted QBs by the time he was drafted if I remember correctly the Eagles with Foles and the Broncos with Osweiler. So yeah he was going to keep dropping if not for the skins.

    For those of you that keep talking about drafting linemen, the Redskins drafted 3 linemen in the draft. Massie while he looked pretty good, who knows if he is a fit.

    For years Redskins fans including myself have critiqued them for signing drafting people based on need and not working on getting people that fit the systems that we have in place.

    Shanny and Allen seem to be doing that, let’s see how it turns out.

  33. Robert Griffin is my favorite quarterback in this rookie class so, naturally, I hope that in him the Redskins FINALLY have their answer to Joe Theismann’s departure. That said, given that this team hasn’t had a franchise quarterback in 27 (that’s TWENTY-SEVEN!) years, odds are Cousins will get his first starts as soon as he would’ve with Philly or Denver.

  34. This tells me that Cousins is already at least partially media savvy. You, I, the Redskins, Sexy Rexy, God, and every NFL fan with a pulse knows Cousins is lying through his teeth to say he’s excited to learn from Rex Grossman. But, it’s what you say as the rookie. You stay humble, and appear eager to learn from your elders.

    Smart kid.

  35. Quit whining, kid. You’ll be in Washington for two years, play a couple of games, look real good doing it, then somebody is going to give up first and second round picks in a trade for you and give you a billion dollar contract. Don’t forget what I said. That’s what happens now.

  36. I’m sorry Kirk but both the Broncos and Eagles chose to pick other people ahead of you to serve as their developmental QB.

    Being developed as a back-up was the best you were going to get, whoever drafted you. Going to the Redskins will make absolutely no difference to your career path. You’re a 4th round QB. If anyone thought there was a good chance you are going to develop into a quality starter you would have been picked earlier.

  37. What was Kirk Cousins supposed to learn from Michael Vick?
    I am not being facetious and not cueing up “dead dog” jokes.

    What was he looking to learn from a QB who plays by 90% instinct?

    Any QB coach in the NFL has the knowledge, skill and motivation to teach him 100x what Vick would or could teach him.

  38. I’ll make this simple for the slow folks out there. With a quality QB still on the board the Skins took him strictly for future trade value, no controversy needed. The offense in place clearly suits RG3 skill set. He is the QB of the future, Cousins should be grateful he was drafted, pay attention, & learn as much as he can. So stop feeding into the media and go to work.

  39. Cousins don’t like being drafted by The Redskins. WTF! Maybe he should have not been drafted by any NFL team at all. Think of all the QB’s the Skins could have drated or OL instead of this guy “Cousins” who is making it clear 2 days in a row, how surprised he was to learn the Skins had drated him. Who is this jerk? Trade His butt ASAP! I hope he can get out of Washingtin before the 2013 Season. Redskins Fans do not want anyone that doesn’t want to be in Washington Mr. Cousins, you’ve showed the Redskins and Fans that playing behind RGIII is a disappointment for your NFL career.

  40. I can understand how from Cousins perspective this isn’t an ideal situation for him. Unless something seriously goes wrong with RGIII(injury/bust) he doesn’t stand a chance to start in Washington. But from the Redskins perspective this is perfect. The were able to get a QB prospect with a 2nd round grade on most draft boards in the 4th round. That means they’re looking at the draft boards from a best prospect available perspective and also recognize that after RGIII they have qb’s that may not make many other teams. They also have a chance to get value for Cousins in the near future from a team desperate for a QB as we’ve seen with Matt Cassell and Matt Flynn. The Redskins dramatically improved their qb situation in one draft.

  41. lifeofcurley says:Apr 30, 2012 12:02 PM

    Bobby Massie who is a highly rated OL perfect for Shanahan system went 10 picks after the Cousins pick. How dumb could you be not to add the OL depth than draft a project QB.

    The ‘Skins should have taken Bobbie Massie. These are his weaknesses according to

    Massie is not a very dynamic athlete and is a slow-footed mover. He is not a natural bender and is rigid in many of his movements. He labors to work to the second level and and struggles when sifting through traffic to engage his man. He relies on catching his man as a blocker in pass protection and will get in trouble with that technique at the next level.

    He doesn’t sound exactly like an ideal ZBS lineman.

    Criticise the ‘Skins for missing a highly rated corner like Boykin with that pick, but not linemen like Massie.

  42. cakemixa says:
    Apr 30, 2012 11:48 AM
    What is it with the media always trying to create a QB controversy at any given chance? This is the most ridiculous non-story of all time.
    No, it’s not. You don’t draft give away all the picks the skins did to draft RGIII, what you think is you franshise QB for the next 10 years, and then draft another QB two picks later.

    Stupid? Yes. A story? Absolutely.

  43. Please people! Instead of focusing on your teams draft and enjoying the moment you comment on another’s teams pk. The media and the haters question this pk. Really? How many back ups and 3rd stringers got thrown into the starting job due to injuries in the last 2 seasons? Texans, Cardinals, Eagles I could go on. He thought the Eagles would take him to be an eventual starter! Lol! Reid is notorious for flipping Qb’s for pks. Plain and simple he fits the west coast offense. Watch and learn son and shut up! HTTR!

  44. This is a situation,where it would be acceptable for a QB to simply refuse to sign. It really snuffs out his chance to be an NFL qb any time soon. He should refuse to sign.

  45. There is no defending the pick. They already had a backup. If they wanted a developmental QB they could have grabbed one in round 5 or later and nobody would have said anything.

    The skins spent a premium pick on a backup QB. That is something that can only be justified for a team with few holes and even then it’s risky.

    How many picks did the skins give up in the RG3 trade? That makes all their remaining picks even more valuable and they spent one on a backup. Stupid.

  46. Another great move by the skins! This team is on the rise and have done a complete 180 from two years ago. We finally have the final piece of the puzzle with RG3! Redskins will rule the east in two years!! Book it!!!!

  47. The only one you need to learn from is the genius shanahan. This is a coach who comes out and says how much he fell in love with cousins at the senior bowl yet gave away 3 big picks to get “best qb in the country”. Again, shanny lies to his fans and from most of the homers on this board they back him up.

    The reality is unless RGIII is a bust for injury purposes or something else AND Cousins actuall shows he can play in the NFL as well, than other picking cousins make no sense for their mutual development, chemistry and team needs. but the rat and his SON sure know best! Gone is Haynesworth and Donny and in comes socks and his cousin from another mother to crank the press up to a frenzy at the park.

    Can’t wait till the day shanhan is run out of town.

  48. This is a positive for Cousins. He was going to be a backup for 2 years anyway.

    If RG3 is great, he’s still a backup.

    If RG3 struggles, Cousins may get a chance TI play earlier. And all though many of us like RG3, most of us admit he is a risk an could bust.

    Cousins gets to compete against a fellow rookie. He may even be a faster starter than RG3 and catch on faster to the system. Although the draft positions are stacked against him, Shanahan has been known to start someone unexpectedly.

    The only downside here…it’s the Redskins, who haven’t done well with young QBs lately.

  49. Classic Shanahan. Needs a plan b
    If RG3 doesn’t work out or gets injured which is a given. He’s going to get clocked every play. Be patient Kirk there will be opportunity in Oakland.

  50. I’m not sure what’s less of a story, that this
    guy is mad he isn’t backing up somebody else or that the skins drafted two QB’s. If he keeps whining please stick him on the practice squad and let him whittle away!!! PFT, feel free to report some relevant Redskins news soon or just don’t report anything b/c making news isn’t your strong suit!

  51. No good reason at all for this pick. It can only cause problems, and really isn’t what anyone involved wants (except for some unnamed person in the team’s hierarchy). Baffling.

    Last thing you want to do is in any way put a cloud over the parade that is RG3’s arrival. Someone is completely tone deaf or has an agenda that is more important to them than all of the fallout from this boneheaded move. Just when things look simple, they find a way to make them complicated again.

  52. In my opinion, what he’s actually saying is :

    “While I can accept going after Luck, Griffin III, and Tennehill, I think I should have been drafted before Russell Wilson (Seahawks), Brock Osweiler (Broncos), and Nick Foles (Eagles).”

    I think he’s really griping more about being selected behind those other QBs than being on the same team with Griffin III.

  53. Rex Grossman is a cold blooded quarterback who throws the football downfield with no remorse. Redskins fans get heart attacks when he is playing. Its a nice to have a backup quarterback that can simply get the job done when your starting quarterback gets hurt.

  54. There’s an entire regime that got fired in Indy because they didn’t have a good enough coaching staff or plan at backup QB. So now we’re complaining that the backup QB might be TOO GOOD? SMH. The Pats drafted a QB in the third round in 08 when they had a merely average defense. Now granted the guy didn’t work out except as one of many honorary captains when the NYJ played the Pats, but still. Drafting and developing backups is a pretty smart investment. They traded Cassel to the KC Chiefs with a HUGE salary and got a 2nd rounder for him and Vrabel. Pats usually bring in new Qbs every year, and they have a high level starter. Why should a rookie QB be immune to that?

    Having said that, I don’t think Shanny is all that as a developer of QBs. As a playcaller/scheme deviser? He’s great. I would have preferred to see Cousins go to McCarthy orPayton(who isn’t an option this year of course), or even Reid.

  55. I wonder if Shanarat gave even a moment of thought to the psychological ramifications of Cousin’s being drafted to back up a rookie sensation. About years on the bench, to start a “career”.

  56. The worst part about being Kirk is that every time he kisses his wife, people probably yell “Ew, Kissing Cousins!” and then everybody in the room feels awkward.

  57. Poor Baby, Suck it up!
    If you were really that good then Denver or Philly would have taken you in the 2nd or 3rd round. Heck, Philly took someone else over you in the 3rd round.
    Heck, if the Redskins didn’t take you maybe you would have dropped to the 6th round.
    You should be thankful that you were taken by an actuall team that wanted you.

  58. slammincamnewton says: Apr 30, 2012 1:02 PM

    You know, as much flack as the Dolphins get for not having a franchise QB for so long, how bout the foreskins?
    “You know, as much flack as the Dolphins get for not having a franchise QB for so long” yeah, they do know, because that’s how much the Redskins have taken.

    In actuality, The Redskins have undoubtedly actually taken more flack because thy play in a division in which their rivals have all had franchise quarterbacks more-or-less since the 90’s. Apart from Brady, and possibly Pennington (though he was hurt 80 percent of the time) the AFC East has been a weak quarterbacking division since the 90’s, so as much flak as the dolphins have received, they haven’t been constantly taken to task for being the only team in their division without solid play from the quarterback for the last twenty years.
    cowhawkfan says: Apr 30, 2012 1:43 PM
    The only downside here…it’s the Redskins, who haven’t done well with young QBs lately.
    cowhawkfan, whatever that is, clearly knows what he’s talking about here. The last time the Redskins had a young QB was 2005, when Jason Campbell was mentored by an elderly and out of touch Joe Gibbs and a series of ineffective offensive coordinators. Clearly the problem is the Redskins, because Jason Campbell is now a hall-of-fame caliber superstar… Oh wait no, he’s backing up Jay Cutler, who was developed successfully as a young quarterback by Shanahan in the same system he’s now employing in DC.

  59. Shanahan will ruin every single quarterback he has to work with. It doesn’t matter who it is

  60. Shanny understands its about the team, not the individual..if…(big if) RG3 isnt what we expect then Cousins is there as plan B…if not then we get picks for him later…not hard to see the logic in the pick..unless you know nothing about the game

  61. I actually think it was a good move for the Skins… QB is one of, if not the only place where you can draft a player in a given round, hold on to him for a couple of years then trade him and get a higher pick…the Pack has been doing it for years(see hasselback, brunell, etc) .. Plus, which OT, or guard are you going to get that is going to supplant any of the current OL there, same with WRs…Sucks to be Cousins a bit but he’ll learn a ton from Shannahan…maybe RG3 gets hurt down the line Cousins gets a chance to show his stuff for a couple of games then the Skins trade him for a 2…

  62. I think this could be great for Cousins. Not much like being drafted after a franchise qb to motivate you to play at a top-notch level. If he shows he can play well, he’ll surely get the Matt Schaub treatment.

  63. @draftazoid

    All the guy was saying is he didn’t expect this. His statement that he would have thought meant before the draft based on his information, Denver or Philly would have been the type of team to take him. Washington didn’t show much interest. Put yourself in his shoes before uou assume he is just being a baby. The move was a head scratcher to most people.

  64. Just when we were giving the Redskins credit for moving up to snag Griffin, they follow it up with a dumb move like this, no offense intened to Cousins. He SHOULD have been drafted by a team that could have used a young backup to develop into a potential starter down the road, not being drafted to back up a fellow rookie with super star written all over him. The Skins could have and should have used that pick on a young skill player to help Griffin out, instead, well…All Kirk can do is keep his head down, work hard, and maybe in a year or two another team will be looking at him in a trade. Good luck man, sorry you got put in a ridiculous situation like this because of a front office’s poor draft skills.

  65. Really messed up situation here on the surface.. but he just needs to grind into the playbook. It won’t be long till RG3 gets “decleated” a couple times and Cousins gets playtime.

    Week 6 is Jared Allen
    Week 7 at Giants
    Week 8 at Pittsburgh

  66. In the end, I think the best NFL QB the Redskins drafted in 2012 will wind up being Kirk Cousins.

    The move for Griffin seems like an ownership decision to ride the ESPN’S hype machine and put butts in the seats. Cousins, having watched him play against my Alma Mater for his entire college career, is a true NFL QB. It’s juunfroze bad for him that he went to such an unfortunate situation.

  67. At that point in the draft, Cousins had already been “rejected” by Denver and Philadelphia (as well as Cleveland, and Seattle), and no other team could offer him the position of “future starter after a couple years as an apprentice to a thirtysomething veteran”. Instead, he was drafted by a team that actually wanted him, and a coach with two HoF QBs on his resume.

    Also, at that point in the draft, Cousins was by far the best QB left on the board, and a far better option at backup QB than any veteran the Skins could have subsequently acquired.

    Need meets value — for both Cousins and the Skins.

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