Redskins Kirk Cousins On Starting Sunday
Washington Redskins backup QB Kirk Cousin was named the start for the rest of the season as Robert Griffin III was benched, Cousins spoke to the media Wednesday afternoon.
On his reaction to being named starter:
I just need to get ready to go, need to have a good week of preparation, and need to just continue doing what Ive been doing and let things take care of themselves.
On how things played out with this decision:
Yeah, it wasnt anything dramatic. I was just told by the coaches that Id be going this week, and if that changes anything then theres something wrong with me because all of these weeks my preparation should be as if Im the starter. Certainly in human nature youre going to have a heightened sense of urgency now that you know, but it shouldnt change anything that Im doing this week to get ready.
On who told him he would be named starter:
[Offensive Coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] was the first one to tell me, but that was more just because of convenience and who I bumped into when I got here.
On his feelings about the decision to name him as the starter:
It is what it is. Im going to submit to the authorities above me and do what Im coached to do and try to help this team win, whether as a starter or a backup or whatever role Im asked to take on. My role this week is to be the starting quarterback and Im going to prepare as hard as I can to have success in that role.
On how tough it is for him to step into a starting role in this situation:
Certainly different circumstances then when I got my first start last year against Cleveland and these are not the circumstances you necessarily want to be in when you start the season, but good or bad Ive got to be ready to go. I cant control a lot of things going on but I can control my preparation and I can control how I lead this team this weekend, so Im going to do that.
On how quarterback Robert Griffin III took the news and what their relationship is like:
Robert is a competitor and I think it is tough for him to have to sit down because what makes him great is that he wants to be out there. Thats one of the things that I admire about Robert and Ive learned a lot from him in my role as a backup is that he doesnt back down to a challenge. He never flinched as a rookie, which I was amazed at that going into the Superdome against New Orleans Week1, he didnt seem nervous. He didnt seem like he was afraid in any way, and it showed in his play, and I have admired that and taken that from him and tried to apply it to my game, that I shouldnt flinch either. He wants to be out there but I think hes handling it with a lot of maturity and hes still out there throwing right now because he wants to get better.
On his mindset for Sunday:
Well, this is not my first time facing adversity. To get to this point my second year in the NFL has not been an easy path. Its been the complete opposite. Its been a difficult road, a lot of setbacks, a lot of difficult situations, a lot of challenges, a lot of things that havent gone my way. So, to start this game in Atlanta on Sunday is not the first time that Ive had to face something that is a little unique. Its just one more time where youve got to dig deep, youve got to work hard, youve got to be tough, youve got to be mentally and physically tough and get the job done and help lead others to hopefully do the same.
On the importance of being on the same page with his coaches:
I want to be on the same page with the coaches. I want to be able to communicate openly with them, from myself to them and then, likewise, from them to me, and try to be on the same page as much as possible. The better I can communicate with them this week, I think the better Ill be able to play on Sunday.
On if he thinks of this as his chance to show what he can do as a starting quarterback:
I think it is a great opportunity to show what Im capable of, but football is a team game, and Im only as good as the guys around me. I know these guys are going to give everything they have to help me, and Im going to do the same for them, but this is about the Washington Redskins and doing the best I can this Sunday to get a win against the Falcons.
On if he feels he is auditioning for a job here or elsewhere:
I feel like every time I get a rep in practice Im auditioning. Ive never felt safe. Ive never felt comfortable, even after a good OTA and mini-camp my rookie year, after a good training camp, a good first season. Ive never felt comfortable so I feel Im always trying to prove myself and Ive felt that way for a long time in my football career, going back to college and high school. Whether its here or somewhere else where Im auditioning, that feeling of challenging yourself, being tough on yourself and putting pressure on yourself, I dont think that ever goes away regardless of the circumstances youre under.
On the circumstances that have led to him being named starter:
I cant control those circumstances so Im not going to waste time or energy worrying about them or wishing they were different. Its wasted energy, and Ive got to devote all the energy I can to beating the Falcons. I need to rise to the occasion, rise to the challenge, dig deep, and hopefully have a good performance on Sunday no matter what the circumstances are.
On if he has spoken with Griffin III about the opportunity:
His demeanor today has been positive, in the sense that hes taking the high road. I think that at the same time its tough for him, so I dont want to come across like he doesnt care that hes sitting. It matters to him, but hes also going to take the high road and stay positive too, so hes been positive in meetings and affirming of me and my opportunity. I feel like our relationship has always been strong and I think its gotten stronger since weve gotten to know each other more over the last couple of years.
On if he thinks he was named starter because he is the best quarterback for the team at this point:
I dont know. I think that, and Ive said it since Ive been here and Ill say it again, I do believe that Robert is the franchise quarterback here in Washington. He was drafted No. 2 overall. A lot of picks were traded to get him. Common sense would say that this is his team, and Ive never wanted to take that away from him or do anything to undermine his role. And Ill say it again even as I start this week, I believe that, at the end of the day, this is Roberts team going forward into next season. The reason they are resting Robert is because this is Roberts team and he is the franchise quarterback. You wouldnt rest him if that wasnt the case. My job is to help this team get a win against Atlanta and then the last two weeks after that, but again, Im going to continue to try to excel in my role as the backup quarterback to Robert.
On if he feels the need as the leader of the offense to tell the team to avoid distractions and focus on Atlanta:
The concept of ignoring the noise and focusing on the task at hand is not new to NFL football players. What that noise is may change from week to week or from year to year, but to get to this level, to play at the high level of college football weve all played in, youve dealt with this before. So to tell the team, Hey, we need to focus in, thats just preaching to the choir. We all know we have to do that. Sure enough, we have to do that this week. Weve got to dig deep, weve got to get the job done, and theres no excuses being made for the current circumstances.
On if he was told he will start the next three weeks or if it is game to game:
Their literal wording was not game to game, it wasnt three weeks. They told me Im going to be starting against Atlanta, and honestly thats enough for me to be worrying about right now. When the plane touches down back from Atlanta, Ill start thinking about the following week.
Source: Washington Redskins Media