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Ryan Clark defends Washington as the best crew in the NFC East regardless of the Eagles’ first-area standing.

ASHBURN, Virginia — The early discussions all through his rookie time let Kirk Cousins know perhaps he should really intention higher. He entered the NFL with 1 objective: Make the roster. But his coaches that first time, notably Kyle Shanahan, altered his eyesight.

Their authentic prepare associated building Cousins and investing him, anticipating good results by fellow rookie Robert Griffin III. The coaches — also Mike Shanahan and then-quarterbacks mentor Matt LaFleur — ended up self-confident in what they could do with Cousins.

“Kyle considered in me when it was just possible,” Cousins claimed. “I hadn’t completed something to make his perception and he considered in me. Mike did, much too, and Matt LaFleur for that issue. That’s when I glance back again and say, ‘Wow, people fellas knew what they ended up conversing about,’ since I hadn’t completed something and they informed me I experienced a great deal of possible and could do some thing.”

That’s 1 reason Cousins continues to be appreciative of how people coaches helped form his job. Cousins only began 4 game titles with Shanahan, profitable 1 for an hurt Griffin his rookie time. There ended up whispers following that rookie time — as friction began with Griffin — that Shanahan considered he could win with Cousins.

That perception trickled down to Cousins, a fourth-round choose curious why a crew that experienced chosen a quarterback second total would consider an additional the exact same yr. The Redskins, although, experienced struggled to uncover not only a starter but good quality depth at quarterback. So they chosen two — experienced Russell Wilson however been readily available in the fourth, they most likely would have taken him. Irrespective, they favored Cousins.

“We ended up thrilled from what we saw in his college movie,” Kyle Shanahan claimed, “and which is what we favored the most about him and which is why we desired him. What we saw on tape, he was every thing the exact same in apply and the much more you are all over the male you grew to become even much more amazed of how distinctive of a individual he is.

“[Cousins was] like all these pocket passers … fellas who can hold in the pocket, deliver the ball, who are precise, do not enjoy the hurry, pretty tough and can go by a progression pretty conveniently.”

Shanahan joked that he has to be thorough “conversing much too significantly.” Following all, the much less-than-peaceful rumor requires Cousins at some point signing with San Francisco as a cost-free agent. It can be a realistic option.

Location sights higher

Cousins was tight with Los Angeles Rams mentor Sean McVay as well, providing him a jersey in which he inscribed, “I owe you my job.” McVay was the only offensive mentor to keep following Jay Gruden took around. And McVay remained firmly in Cousins’ corner.

But it was Shanahan who was there first.

“Some fellas arrive into the league actually acquiring a great deal of assurance and believing, ‘I’m going to be a Pro-Bowler sometime. I’m going to be a Corridor of Famer. It can be just a issue of time,'” Cousins claimed. “My mentality was, ‘I’ve received to make the crew and I’ve received to uncover a way to keep in this league.’ Listening to that perception from Mike, from Kyle, from Matt ideal absent, gave me a opportunity to established my sights a little higher and to be expecting a little much more out of myself and to work for much more.”

He made it clear that he’s been surrounded by good coaches in the course of his job, like the recent staff. But he identified as the early assurance a “shot in the arm.”

As a rookie, Cousins examined all through each individual break — normally found sitting down on a sofa outside the locker home although other people spoke with the media. He comprehended what he have to do. For the duration of 1 preseason sport, Cousins delivered a strike down the sidelines towards a go over-2 glance, slipping it in involving the corner and the basic safety. But he bemoaned the toss later on in the week, expressing it was not the ideal toss for that glance — and that he would study.

A various QB

He is definitely a various quarterback, building in all features — from handling defense calls and audibles and looking through defenses to running the operate sport.

“There’s so quite a few elements of getting a quarterback that as I’ve played, I’ve picked them all up and I sense like each individual yr I consider an additional stage,” Cousins claimed.

Teammates have noticed.

“I assume of game titles wherever my second yr [in 2014] when he experienced to arrive in, he was a little nervous at moments,” Redskins managing back again Chris Thompson claimed. “Now every thing flows better. He understands the ins and out of the offense. … He feels much more snug and his engage in has been showing.”

Cousins will get started his thirty seventh straight standard-time sport Sunday, so he’s far taken off from getting a rookie. Gruden claimed he’s not however a completed merchandise, either. He however calls him a younger quarterback — since of to starting up working experience, not age.

“His total sport is evolving,” Gruden claimed. “He is just going to carry on to see matters and adjust to the various defenses and the fronts and the coverage that he sees, understand various ideas are good for various coverages, and then in some cases you might be going to have to advertisement-lib, like he did towards Kansas Metropolis a number of moments and he’s finding better at that. Playing quarterback is all about experiences, studying from your faults, moving ahead and continuing to contend at a higher level — on a dependable higher level. And which is what he’s so far doing.”

How significantly even more Cousins can go is up for discussion — and previously has been the matter of quite a few. But he’ll usually have a lover in Shanahan.

“He seems to be like the exact same male I’ve usually found,” Shanahan claimed. “Of course the much more you engage in, the much more possibilities you get, the better you get with reps. But he seems to be just like the male I bear in mind from practices out there and I know he will be a tough problem for our defense.”



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