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Need to Know: Cousins still gets important preseason reps

Jul 23, 2013, 5:00 AM EDT

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Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, July 23, two days before the Redskins start training camp.

Cousins not totally left out

In training camp Kirk Cousins will be the football equivalent of someone who is all dressed up with nowhere to go.

The Redskins’ backup quarterback was prepared to lead the team through training camp and perhaps into the regular season while Robert Griffin III rehabbed his reconstructed right knee. But with Griffin’s announcement yesterday that he would be active for training camp and eased in to practices, Cousins’ potential leadership role during training camp was severely diminished.

Even when Griffin is taking mental reps during some drills and Cousins is piloting the first-team offense, eyes will go to RG3 for leadership. The players know that the captain will be back in the saddle for the opener on Sept. 9.

This is not a surprising development for Cousins. A month ago he told the NFL Network that he didn’t expect to be starting the opener.

“Robert looked awesome, and I’m not just saying that,” he said on NFL AM. “He is a bit of a freak in terms of his athleticism, he has healed very quickly, he couldn’t practice with us, but he was on a separate field doing drills all spring during OTAs and minicamp. He looked really good. I think he’ll be on the field Week One. But my mindset is to be ready no matter what, and I’m getting ready all summer so I’ll be ready if called upon.”

But all is not lost for Cousins. While we don’t expect any announcement to be made about Griffin’s schedule for preseason games, it is safe to figure that he won’t be in for the full load of about four quarters that starting QB’s usually play. The snaps that Griffin doesn’t take will go to Cousins. Those plays, with the first team offense playing against the other team’s starters, are very valuable to a backup who wants to be another team’s starter at some point. The reps give scouts some non-garbage time performance to evaluate.

It isn’t ideal for Cousins but at this point in his career he is happy to get what he can.

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