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Cousins appreciates his next, and possibly last, big chance

Sep 10, 2015, 10:59 AM EDT


This Sunday, for the first time since 2011, Kirk Cousins will take the first snap of his team’s season. The game four years ago was in East Lansing, Michigan and Michigan State’s opponent was Youngstown State. This Sunday has the bigger spotlight of the NFL as the Miami Dolphins come to FedEx Field.

Many players in Cousins’ situation would tell you that this Sunday is just another game, another opportunity. But Cousins isn’t afraid to admit how important starting the season opener again is to him.

“That’s certainly a focus for me is being able to understand yes, it’s a big game, yes, it’s important, but I’m the kind of guy who is going to acknowledge that,” said Cousins. “It’s my job to almost stay relaxed and enjoy the process and enjoy the moment, have fun and put a smile on my face. I think that’s certainly a point of emphasis for me this week. Like you said, haven’t been in this position in a few years so it’s a cool opportunity though. Last time I did it, in 2011, the season went alright. It was a good year. Hopefully, we can have the same thing this year.”

The 2011 Spartans went 11-3, losing the Big Ten championship game to Wisconsin. If the Redskins post double digit wins and lose a playoff game the season would certainly be considered “a good year”.

Perhaps more relevant to Cousins immediate situation is that this is his first start since October 19 of last year. In the first half against Tennessee that day he lost a fumble and threw an interception, helping the Titans go into the locker room with a 10-6 lead. Colt McCoy took over in the third quarter, led the team to a comeback win, and Cousins didn’t take a snap again the rest of the year. It gave him time for some thought and for some regret.

“I think, like I said, anytime you have a job to do and you feel like you didn’t get the job done, it’s going to eat at you if you care about it,” he said. For me I deeply care about it and so it was eating at me. It was important then to say, ‘Alright, what do I do now? What do I do about it now?’ Obviously I couldn’t go right back on the field and try to fix it. But that may have been a good thing to just be able to go back and learn from it and slowly try to grow and build off of it.”

He was the inactive third quarterback for much of the rest of the season so he did not need to spend time going into the coming week’s opponent in great detail. Cousins spent time looking at film of successful quarterbacks and of himself.

“I felt like, I’ll go back and just study my own game and try to improve my own perspective,” he said. “You’re always looking at how can I get better, with the circumstances around me and the situation I am in. What can I do to get better and deliberately practice, whatever that is.”

Quarterbacks don’t often get another chance if they are buried on the bench like Cousins was last year.

We will see how much Cousins’ self-study pays off starting with his next, and perhaps last, big opportunity on Sunday.

  1. smotion55 - Sep 10, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    If he realizes he was out of control and forced things and mostly how he handled the pressure poorly in those last couple of games and truely learned from that, he will be better, by a lot. And if that happens anything is possible

  2. tralfaz10 - Sep 10, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    If he studied film of good quarterbacks then maybe he picked up a few things from that. If he can limit throwing to the wrong colored jersey, the Redskins have the pieces to make a run at the NFC East. We beat Dallas and Philly last year and I feel we are vastly improved over last year’s squad. It hinges on Cousins though. If he plays all 16 games, it will bode well for the team. HTTR!

  3. mr.moneylover - Sep 10, 2015 at 3:32 PM

    I hope kirk cousins do good but I got feeling that ima be saying monday I TOLD YOU SO nothing changed he is who he is

  4. lpddawg - Sep 10, 2015 at 4:50 PM

    Hopefully he has learnt from last year.If he has he has all the tools to be a good QB.

  5. goback2rfk - Sep 10, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    This could be the end of Cousins career here. I expect atleast 2 INT’s on Sunday. One coming early in the 1st quarter.

  6. skinsgame - Sep 10, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Best. QB. In. The. League.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 10, 2015 at 10:50 PM

      I’ll hold onto this one

    • goback2rfk - Sep 10, 2015 at 10:52 PM

      When RG3 made his comments he meant to say he “Was the best Back-Up QB in the league” Now that would make more sense.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 10, 2015 at 11:31 PM

        RG3 never made that comment you dunce! He stated he feels he the best QB in the league because that is how he goes out to practice as a competitor. Of course needle wicks like yourself take the media choice to suggest something that had nothing to do with his actual statement.

        • goback2rfk - Sep 10, 2015 at 11:35 PM

          Whatever way you want to twist it the man said he thinks he is this best QB in the league. And I was simply saying RG3 is the best Back-Up QB in the league. However, Mark Sanchez might have RG3 beat out for best back-up QB

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 10, 2015 at 11:38 PM

          The only twisted part is how you conceive it to be. You can’t ever been a competitor to understand the difference.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 10, 2015 at 11:39 PM

          Just another water boy with a naive opinion of the game.

        • skinsgame - Sep 11, 2015 at 12:17 AM

          When I said, “Best QB in the league”, I meant to say that he goes out to practice as a competitor. It’s not like I was suggesting something that had nothing to do with my actual statement.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Sep 11, 2015 at 12:22 AM

          Give me a break Skinsgame; since whenever you made a comment about this team outside of attacking RG3. Just a joker with no cards to play in the game.

        • goback2rfk - Sep 11, 2015 at 1:14 AM

          Rob will be OK. He is all in for getting another starting job somewhere. I am thinking he takes over Denever once a washed up Manning gets out of the way

        • skinsgame - Sep 11, 2015 at 6:01 AM

          Did Robert say he was “all in for getting a starting job somewhere” to you over dinner, Captain Obvious? Your sources on the Broncos connection are intriguing. Keep us all posted!

  7. Skulb - Sep 11, 2015 at 1:48 AM

    Cousins will do fine on Sunday I think. Good arm, good footwork and good reads. All he needs is to learn when to get rid of the ball and abort plays instead of forcing passes. With any luck, maybe he´s already learned it. Either way he´s the best shot we have for 2015 and reminds me a little of Joe Flacco. Hopefully he can get to that level and gain enough cred to keep starting next year. We could do a lot worse than Kirk.

    • Custer - Sep 11, 2015 at 7:50 AM


      The media sure hates the skins for not changing the name. They have nitpicked every statement, parsed every word to get their biased slam in.

      Cousins is not the first player to struggle, learn from their mistakes and become an hof talent.

      That’s what the media doesn’t want to accept, and we as Homer’s have to hang on

      This is a different team then last year. Gruden is a different coach, the only thing that doesn’t appear to have changed is Robert….. Archives

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