With extended audition on tap, Cousins says all the right things

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Last year, Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins got three late-season starts after starter Robert Griffin III landed on the bench, ostensibly to protect him from injury.

This year, thanks to an injury from which Griffin couldn’t protect himself, Cousins will get some more starts.  And if he performs well, he could end up being the starter.

Everyone knows it.  But Cousins is smart enough to not say it.

“This is Robert’s team,” Cousins told reporters after Sunday’s win.  “My job is to be the backup quarterback, and if called upon to come in and play, then I better play and help this team win.  That job doesn’t change.  This is Robert’s team.”

Maybe it’s Robert’s team for now.  But it can become Cousins’ team, if Cousins keeps playing like he did on Sunday.

For all its politics and periodic BS, the NFL is a meritocracy.  Coaches, General Managers, and owners want to win.  The guys who put the team in the best position to win will play.

Of course, it’s possible Cousins already was that guy.  But he wasn’t going to get the chance to prove it absent an injury to Griffin, thanks to the politics and periodic BS employed to justify giving up way too much to move up four spots to draft Griffin.  But an injury seemed inevitable after Griffin showed four weeks ago in the preseason against Cleveland that Griffin, for all of his God-given gifts, lacks the ability to keep himself healthy on a consistent basis.

With the team hoping Griffin will miss only four or five weeks, if Cousins shows in the next month that he has the ability to run coach Jay Gruden’s offense far better than Griffin can, Cousins could end up keeping the job well after Griffin is healthy.

Of course, whether Griffin is fully healthy could be the vehicle the team uses to keep Griffin on the sidelines.  Two seasons after he was rushed back from a knee injury only to have the knee implode during a playoff game, keep your ears open for the “100 percent” rule, which other coaches have used in the past to justify keeping the starting quarterback on the bench when the backup has shown that he has the hot hand.

74 responses to “With extended audition on tap, Cousins says all the right things

  1. As a Philly fan, I would rather Philly face RGIII before Cousins. RGIII is overrated. I am not saying Cousins is going to the Pro Bowl, but at this point he is a better QB then RGIII.

  2. backup for RGme means you are guaranteed a bunch of starts every year because he hasn’t learned how to play NFL QB and protect himself…..

  3. Best case estimates are that Griffin misses 4-5 weeks — worst case scenario is that he’s done for the year.

    If he starts 4 and goes 3-1 OR

    If he plays the rest of the season and goes 9-5…

    Then the Redskins HAVE to give him the job, or their ownership, front office, coaches, etc, are the biggest idiots on the planet and don’t really deserve to have the fans supporting the team.

    I say this because I don’t think ANYONE predicted the Redskins would end the season 10-6.

    I get the whole “It’s Roberts Team” stuff but you have to perform to play.

    If both men were 4th round picks, would they even be having a debate on this?

  4. By the way: I’m not predicting that the Skins will go 10-6. I think no matter who is QBing that team, 7-9 or 8-8 most likely is the more optimistic scenario…they can’t play the Jags every week…

  5. In looking at how RG3 popped that ankle untouched I think all of our concerns about his health were realized. He reminds me of a Thoroughbred race horse , incredible athlete but delicate. This looks like it will be the long term story for RG3. Cousins will be the long term starter as of now and the situation in about 6 weeks will become “The Situation”. Thats going to be interesting.

  6. They ruined RGIII’s career during the playoffs & have been trying to make it up to him ever since, brutal.

  7. The RG3 saga is becoming a real sad thing to watch. Somewhere between “bob’s a bust” and “cousins is the man” lies the truth.

    I don’t follow the Redskins very closely (this is America, damnit) but I had a feeling that Shanahan knew he was on the hot seat and basically put Griffin’s career on the line to save his own.

    I hope he gets back on the field shortly. As a football fan (being a fan of the NFL is pretty damn difficult nowadays), I never want to see anybody have a serious injury.

    Good luck to the Mr. Cousins, Mr. Griffin, and the Redskins organization!

    -a falcons fan

  8. The NFL is meritocracy for the players…

    Coaching, Front Office, Personnel gigs are abound with nepotism…

  9. Shanahan tried his best Constanza to force Dan Snyder to fire him. One would think trading away those number one picks would have been enough. Guess he should have tried an unbalanced fake field goal play – after it failed the first time. Now that was funny.

  10. Kirk Cousins is all class and I hope all the fans give him the same benefit of the doubt they are so willing to give RGIII. Last year RG’s excuse was he didn’t have any ota’s or training camp. Neither has Kirk Cousins.

  11. Cousins has proven he can do more with this team in my opinion. And to say that he can’t because of last year is BS. Everyone had given up by the time he became the starting QB.

  12. We shall see. I think Cousins is pretty good, and fits well into that O.
    Never will be a fan of Griffin, however I wish him a quick recovery. Mostly because I want to see him with a chance to prove himself, but also if Cousins plays fairly well, a little team discourse could follow and that would be good for the other teams in the East.

  13. RG: “But coach it’s been a year and a half since the ankle injury!. I’m running, cutting, jumping…”

    Coach: “Le’s give it another month or, I mean let’s give it another week or two and see how things look.”

  14. And I forgot all the pro name-change racists who don’t realize that the time for their relevance has past.

    I call you racist, because you think of Native Americans and people with red skin. They aren’t. Redskin refers to the paint worn by warriors.

  15. “This year, thanks to an injury from which Griffin couldn’t protect himself”
    ?????????? It was a non contact injury lol.

  16. First: Robert didn’t do anything to injure himself on that play, it was a freak thing, or maybe he is just too small. Second: he will miss the balance of the year so Cousins 15 games to prove himself. Third: the past is the past, what they gave up is already gone so the only thing to do is move on with the guys you have.

    Robert had the potential to be an all-timer. Cousins has the potential to be a really good and serviceable QB. As a Skins fan the one good thing that Shanny did was draft this kid.

  17. Despite yesterday success, it might be a little soon to be talking about Cousins taking over. His performance was at home, against arguably the worst team in the league. And the appearances while Griffin was injured last year were without any notable successes. Luckily for him and the DC Eleven, the NFC East is perhaps the worst division in the NFL.

  18. Giant fan here and I’m much more fearful of Cousins than I am for RGIII at this point. If RGIII was never injured then it would be a different story BUT it is what it is.

  19. RG3 had the best rookie season of any rookie NFL QB ever and was injured his second season. Cousins lost the last 5 straight games last year with horrible stats but now he’s a savior Pro Bowl QB? lol

  20. Kirk, DOn’t feel bad about playing your ass off. Do everything you can to help us win and let the chips fall where they may.

    Most of us feel really bad for Griff.

  21. Cousins should have been the starter week 1. RG3 is a porcelain doll, not to mention a prima donna.

    Imagine having all of those draft picks back with Cousins at QB…ouch

  22. Griffin, with his need to learn how to be a pocket passer (which goes against his grain) feels like a work in progress.

    Cousins feels like instant coffee. Ready–and more importantly able–to play.

    Bet Cousins will remain the starter because what coach in their right mind would switch out QBs if the one he’s playing with is getting it done?

  23. good morning REDSKIN NATION!!! I think I speak for most fans when I say we wish you well RGIII.
    That being said, football is a team sport. When one man goes down the next man has to step up.

    boy that DEFENSE looks scary, the special teams looked solid, and the offense just clicked without Reed, Jackson, Or III.

    it’s still a long season, but here’s hoping they stay healthy and focused.

    Where’s all the haters this morning?

  24. RG3 had the best rookie season of any rookie NFL QB ever and was injured his second season but now he’s a BUST.

    Cousins lost the last 5 straight games last year with horrible stats but now he’s a savior Pro Bowl QB? lol

  25. Maybe the shanahan’s ruined Kirk Cousins too but we just don’t know it because he doesn’t whine and moan about it nonstop 24/7. Maybe he’ll be unleashed in this offense!

  26. HTTR

    I was happy when they drafter RG3 and really wish he would’ve been the answer we were lookin for..he’s not, bottom line.

    The guy has felt Kirk’s heat ever since those Baltimore/Brown’s game from 2012. Rightfully so I may add.

    He rushed back that year and got hurt. Rushed back the following year, after getting hurt from rushing back and led the team to an abysmal season.

    Kirk is a pocket passer who has been working on that part of being a QB his ENTIRE career. Griffin is a track star with an arm. There’s really no debate on who should be behind center. Thank you Mike Shanahan for drafting Kirk, otherwise this would be another lost season and another 10 years of heartache.

    If Kirk goes greater than .500 and the team puts Griffin back in..they deserve every bit of hearburn that will be associated with it. This time next year shouldn’t be that big of an exercise in problem solving…don’t pick up Griffin’s 5th year option and sign Kirk.

  27. I don’t understand how people call Robert’s injury a “freak” thing as if it couldn’t have been avoided. Yes it could have. There’s this thing called STEPPING UP in the pocket rather than flee the pocket at the first down lineman or LB you see. This is where Kirk will improve the offense. Kirk is no long term answer, but just like 20 years ago, Gus Frerotte (pocket passer) was better for Norv Turner’s offense than high-pick Heath Shuler (scrambler).

  28. Cousins said the right things, but so did Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Steve Young before they took over the teams they QB. If Cousins plays well it could happen in Washington.

  29. The backup QB is always the favorite player on the team. What is Cousins’ record as a starting QB again? Let’s see how he plays against a winning team that has a full week to prepare for him.

  30. I will continue to believe Griffin is a phenomenal athlete but it’s also become clear to me that his type of build may not be meant for pro football. I feel slightly sorry for the kid (he is financially set for life if he’s smart with his money) because it’s not lack of effort and work that is going to cause him to fail. Jacksonville is not a good team but it was a win we really needed. The jury is still out in my mind as far as how good we will be as a team and how good is Cousins. He didn’t impress much last year but as a fan I need to be optimistic that that was the past. It may be naïve on my part but that’s what being a true fan is in my mind.

  31. I so hate sounding like a parrot….but during the pre-season I said, bench Griffin and start Cousins. Then release RG after the season and let him be someone else’s problem.

    Hey Skins fans….for the moment you have the QB you deserve. With a little luck, the front office will wake up and see RG for the hack he has always been and move on.

  32. First RGIII Made no excuses about last years performance. Second, Kirk cousins didn’t have OTA’s? Kirk cousins had OTA’s, full off-season, training camp, preseason. RGIII had none of those last year. RGIII RG three tore his ACL on a noncontact injury? I guess technically that’s true but if you remember Haloti Ngata destroyed his knee and then planting hard on that knee in the Seahawks game was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

    I think the Redskins are flush with weapons and we can end the season with a winning record. Whether it’s Cousins or RGIII, I don’t really care, I just want to see wins.

  33. Best case scenario for a dislocated ankle is 4 MONTHS not weeks. 2014 is KC’s opportunity to become the starter. If they win the division KC will be the starter in Washington 2015 and beyond. The key will be keeping Griffin away from the team while he’s inactive or he’ll become a locker room cancer like he was at the end of last season.

  34. Oh and to the people talking about Cousin’s “failure” during his 3 game stint at the end of last year.

    1. Loses to Atl by 1 point, in Atlanta. Throws for almost 400 yards.

    2. Loses to the Cowboys by 1 point at home.

    3. The Giants, multiple fumbles and dropped passes, in New York, and they were already 3-12.

    Point? He was thrown to the wolves and still put the skins in a better position to win than Bobert who struggled with the Raiders, lol.

    Cousins is just far enough removed from training camp, where he got some decent reps, to be fresh and ready for the season. If he stinks this season up..fine he’s not the answer either but he’ll certainly be less frustrating to watch that Bobby G.

  35. Cousins can be a very good QB….. Redskins can win with Cousins…. he has very good understanding of this offense…………………..
    but…….
    he is not RG3………… no, he is not as good as RG3….. RG3 was looking great and he can do things others, not only Cousins, can not….. the offense will not be as explosive w/ Cousins as with a healthy RG3

    this said, Cousins was great, I fully support him, I still think Redskins will win the NFC East (though I think we find out this coming week – but, Redskins will also miss DJax, who was just killing to get the Eagles this week)

    but, stop this he is better than RG3 nonsense…it is unfair and untrue

  36. not all competitions are open in the NFL.

    sure, all teams want to win, but many make boneheaded decisions by really NOT having a competition for starting positions.

  37. Kirk Freotte should show up once he’s game planned for every week. This is apparent to everyone else except the people who think because they hate Griffin so much, that will make Cousins an actual NFL starter.

  38. The big shot brain trusts at Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, Oakland, and St Louis must be backtracking fast and furious today to explain to their ownerships why they did not send a 7th round pick to the Redskins for Cousins when the Redskins announced their Kirk Cousins fire sale.

  39. “GettingNoRespect says:
    Sep 15, 2014 8:30 AM
    And I forgot all the pro name-change racists who don’t realize that the time for their relevance has past.

    I call you racist, because you think of Native Americans and people with red skin. They aren’t. Redskin refers to the paint worn by warriors.”
    ===========================================

    If you’re going to merely repeat what you’ve been told to say by far right wing conservative talk show hosts who are anti name change, then just admit right here and now that you’re incapable of formulating independent thoughts and views.

  40. The rest of the league now has to actually prepare for a Washington passing attack – and – the deep ball.

    Perhaps some of you should actually watch Redskins games – the defenses played eight men in the box often against us – not because of the run, but because Griffin has an effective and accuracy range of 15 yards or less. His ability to throw deep is miniscule. You would have a better chance of getting hit by lightning than him completing more than one ball deep in the same game.

    Defenses now have to play a QB with a quick release and read – Griffin routinely held the ball for 3.5 to 4.5 seconds which contributed to the sacks and the calls for a new offensive line. Cousins releases the ball easily 1 second quicker than Griffin – that will cut sacks.

  41. I’m a huge supporter of rgiii, in shannys offense he was a much better fit than Kirk. But in grudens offense the pocket passer is coveted. Andy dalton became a star because of jay and so will Kirk

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