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Five Takeaways: Kirk Cousins's Eagles Week Presser

Posted Oct 19, 2017

Redskins.com's Jake Kring-Schreifels provides five takeaways from Kirk Cousins's press conference at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun Co., Va.

Redskins.com's Jake Kring-Schreifels provides five takeaways from Kirk Cousins's press conference at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun Co., Va.


1. His relationship with Terrelle Pryor Sr. is coming along well.

For nearly every week this season, the questions about the relationship between Cousins and his wide receivers have persisted. This is primarily because there has yet to be a breakout statistical star through five games.

The narrative might have changed, Cousins admitted Thursday, had he just been more accurate with the football, in paritcular to wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. If he had been – on an out route in the end zone that he overshot, and later on a pump-fake fade toss to the corner of the end zone – he would be happily dissecting two touchdown passes and be answering questions about their solid rapport.

“That’s how fragile it is,” Cousins said. “If he is coming away with two touchdowns in that game, now we are saying we were on the same page and we have improved so much since April. But that is where it can be a little fickle and fragile, but I think he is doing a really good job and he is working really hard. I think we have made great strides.”

Cousins said he’s been happy overall, though, with the game plans, which begin Monday with the coaching staff and have led to him having greater efficiency throughout games.

“I am very pleased with the way our coaches have worked really hard to create game plans that put us in a position to be successful,” he said. “Ultimately we just have to go out then and execute well. It was great to see Trent Williams be able to play through an injury and play well. The more we can protect well and get open, then that’s when I can just be a distributor and throw accurately. Next thing you know we move the football and score points.” 

2. While Cousins doesn’t have a great record on Monday night, that hasn’t changed his mindset for the Eagles at all.

When you consider the difference between an afternoon game against a winless 49ers team and a Monday Night Football game against a division opponent in first place, the atmosphere certainly changes. That doesn’t mean the importance does.

Although Cousins has struggled in these weekday primetime matchups, each game carries the same amount of weight for him. In other words, his mentality stays the same.

“In college, when we played like Ohio State or Wisconsin, it truly felt like a bigger game. It felt like there’s a little more attention on it,” Cousins said. “In the NFL, I feel like while it is a big game, they’re all big. And I don’t know of a single game that I go to and feel like, ‘This one is not quite as charged.’ Again, it’s fun to talk about, fun to hype up, I get that. But for me, like you said, we’ve got the Cowboys the next week. That will be a big game. Win or lose this week, that’s a big game. That’s the beauty of the NFL is every single week, we’re getting tested and it feels like Ohio State or Wisconsin or Michigan every single week for me. That’s the great thing about this league.”

3. Having his son, Cooper, at the stadium for the first time was a thrill.

In what Cousins hopes is the first of many games his son, Cooper, will attend, Sunday’s game with his presence in the stands was rewarding as a football player and a father.

“I was able to just hold him and kind of take in the moment,” said Cousins, who spent time with family members in the parking lot after the game.  “When we had that rushing touchdown at the end of the game, I kept the ball and put that in his nursery. So we have got that there and now my wife now wants it to get painted up to say ‘Cooper’s game ball.’ So we will see what we can do there.

Now, Cousins just hopes that he stays in the league long enough to make sure Cooper can remember his dad play in a game.

“Hopefully there will be many more games like it and I told my wife that I would like to play long enough to where he can come to a game and remember it and have that memory,” he said. “So hopefully I can play long enough where he can see me play and remember it.”

4. Every play is important for the offense to keep momentum on its side.

After breaking out to a 17-0 lead in the first half against San Francsico, the offense started to fall into a lull, going three-and-out and forcing its defense to do most of the heavy lifting in the third and fourth quarter. Cousins was particularly aware that things had started to become complacent during the game.

The way that happens, he said, is when execution is lost.

“Every single play, we have to be locked in because one play can turn the tide,” Cousins said. “You’re also very aware of every single play – a sack-fumble, a turnover – can get a team right back in it. So when you do have a lead, you start to be aware of what are the ways that we can get them back in it quickly and how can we avoid that by playing smart and protecting the football and avoiding the critical error.”

Cousins used one play as an example of the precarious nature of finding a rhythm on offense.

“It’s very fragile,” Cousins said. “I remember, we got in a third-and-one and we handed it off to Mack Brown and we got stuffed. If we get that first down, maybe now we’re rolling, maybe we’ve got a first down, we’re at midfield and the whole feel of that drive and of our momentum continues to go in the right direction. The difference between, ‘Oh, we stubbed our toe middle of the game and allowed them to get back into it’ and ‘We kept our foot on the gas pedal and ended up having a blowout,’ it can be very small.”

5. Cousins doesn’t believe in signature wins.

The popular theory surrounding the Redskins and Eagles’ game this Monday night is that if Washington were to win, it would be a statement, or signature win. But don’t tell that to Cousins.

In his eyes, describing any victory as more important or indicative of a team is antithetical to the outlook of the entire season.

“It wouldn’t be a signature win if we lost the rest of them, you know, and finish the season,” Cousins said. “It just doesn’t… let’s let the dust settle and see where we are at Week 17.”

Cousins remembered in 2015, the year the Redskins won the division, that the team suffered tough losses against the Panthers and Patriots, games that would have been defined as signature wins. The Redskins still finished on top, however, emphasizing the importance in every game.

“I’m sure that a win on the road against the Eagles would get our fans very excited and people would be riding the roller coaster and they would be on the height of the roller coaster at that point,” Cousins said.  “We try not to ride it. We try to stay steady right through it and I think that serves us well.”

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