The Washington Redskins return to FedExField on Thursday to host the New England Patriots for the preseason opener, and while
For Cousins, it will be his seventh-career preseason appearance for the Redskins. Last season, the former fourth-round pick started the first two preseason games with Griffin III still getting his body ready for the regular season after offseason knee surgery.
For McCoy, though, this will be his first appearance with the Redskins after signing on April 3.
The 85th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft has had an interesting ride since carrying the University of Texas to the BCS National Championship Game in 2010.
He started 21 games in three seasons with the Browns before signing with the San Francisco 49ers last season to serve as Colin Kaepernick’s primary backup.
Now in Washington, McCoy is growing both from a physical and mental standpoint.
“Every day is a new day and a day to get better and work on some things that you need to work on to get better as a quarterback,” McCoy said. “For me, taking a lot of mental reps and understanding what [head coach] Jay [Gruden] wants to do on offense such as our reads, our progressions and just taking command of the huddle when I’m in there.
“So far so good.”
Speaking of Gruden, McCoy has enjoyed what the former Arena League Football quarterback and offensive coordinator brings to the table in terms of mixing it up and keeping the defense on its toes.
In fact, this is the most dynamic offense McCoy has experienced in the NFL.
“I really like his approach and what we’re trying to do offensively,” McCoy explained. “And it’s a good (quarterbacks) room that we’re in and he carries himself well. He and [offensive coordinator] Sean [McVay] work well and it’s been good so far. I love the way we attack every play and the receivers are running good routes, and if we can distribute the ball to them effectively, then I think we have a chance.”
Being the veteran leader
While McCoy is entering his fifth NFL season and is just 27 years old, he’s has the most professional experience among the three quarterbacks on the Redskins' roster.
It’s a juxtaposition in which McCoy is able to relate to the younger quarterbacks while also shedding light on his understanding of certain situations.
In his first start as a rookie, McCoy threw for 281 yards and tossed a pair of touchdown passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers’ No. 1-ranked defense. Griffin III, of course, started off with a bang in his first-career game vs. New Orleans, while Cousins started a must-win game vs. Cleveland late in 2012.
“I do my best to be the veteran in the room and answer the questions,” McCoy said. “I have a lot of experience and Robert and Kirk are doing a good job picking up (the offense) as well. The biggest thing for us is don’t predetermine anything.
“It’s just understanding what we’re trying to do philosophically and we’ll be fine.”
Practicing Against The Patriots
Monday marked the first time in McCoy’s career that he faced a different NFL team during training camp practices.
Going against several big-name Patriots, McCoy looked sharp and threw several well-placed balls into the hands of his receivers.
McCoy said the joint practices were a "great change up" for the Redskins, who will practice against the Patriots again Tuesday and Wednesday.
“It was a good chance for us on this first day to see where we are and see how well we know our offense,” McCoy admitted when asked his thoughts on the joint practices. “We may make a few physical mistakes, but if we can go to the right place with the ball and mentally win every play, that’s what the coaches want to see.”
Moving forward, McCoy wants to take each play on individually and hopes it will build into effective play.
“I just want to play one snap at a time and lead that group of guys that I’m on the field with and be efficient.”