Home Press Conference: Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins

Press Conference: Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins


redskins_scriptrWashington quarterback Kirk Cousins talks with reporters on Thursday. Washington (1-3) hosts Seattle (2-1) on Monday Night Football.


On if the loss to the Giants was tougher to handle than other losses he has suffered:

“It is hard to rank different experiences. They are all tough when you don’t win. You definitely learn from it, you get better as a quarterback from it, it toughens you and now we are focused on Seattle. We’ve got a great opponent coming in here Monday night, national spotlight game, and it is very important that we play well and find a way to win.”


On playing against Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in college and in the NFL:

“I actually went against him three times. Played him twice my senior year – the game that ended in the Hail Mary, which we were fortunate to come out with the win, and then the Big Ten Championship game, which actually they got the better of us in that one. And if I could, I’d do it over again and I’d rather switch it and be able to go to the Rose Bowl and win that championship game. And then the playoff game, yeah. So played him three times, at least first person, and he is very talented, just a special player. And he is one of those guys – I told him when I saw him in the offseason after our rookie year, I said, ‘You make me nervous. When I am standing on the sideline and the ball is in your hand you make me nervous because I never know what the next play is going to be.’”


On his memories from those games:

“The Hail Mary game I just remember a back and forth game. They got the lead early then we came back, stormed back with some good plays and then they came back late in the game, Russell made a bunch of plays. Then we got the ball with a couple minutes left and went down the field, got it to midfield, then had to throw that Hail Mary. So it was a back and forth battle of two really good football teams. It showed itself again in the Big Ten Championship game, two really good football teams. In the playoff game I just remember we got ahead early, had a great start. FedExField was rocking and then they just kind of steadily kept marching back and stayed in it and then took the lead. It is one of those games that didn’t sit well with it because of how close we felt like we were to winning a playoff game. But they are a great football team and they have shown why ever since then with all the success that they have had.”


On if there was a benefit to not having to come in and contribute right away:

“Yeah, I think that is a great testament to Russell [Wilson], the fact that he was able to win the starting job right away and play so well early. Just shows how talented of a player he is and how hard he works and his approach to the game. I do think the silver lining in being a backup early was I was able to watch and learn. There are benefits to both obviously. It’s worked out very well for Russell. I also feel like there are opportunities that I’ve had here that were good for me.”


On how he deals with grand pronouncements about his future after every game:

“Yeah, I agree with you, John. It’s been tough. Even my rookie year when you only get a couple spots and everybody is going to try to write the book on who you are as a quarterback from the end of the Ravens game or the Cleveland game and then you may get spot duty last year. So that is tough. And to say how do you deal with that, you know, I don’t know that I have the perfect answer. I am the kind of guy who would like to know my future and like to know how things are going play out, I don’t. So I try not to ride the roller coaster. I try to be as consistent as I can possibly be and I think that approach is going to help me have success in this league. But as a quarterback, you are going to have things that go your way, you’re going to have times where it is going to be tough. I think the guys that last are the guys who can ride it out and say consistent no matter what.”


On if he is given the same chance to develop as other young quarterbacks:

“I think everybody is in a different position. Everybody has their challenges, has their advantages to being in the situation they are in and I certainly have my advantages and I have my challenges. No one is going to care about the excuses. They want to see results in this league and over the long haul we are going to find out over time who they guys are that can last. We’ll see.”


On if his last performance will make him hesitate making throws moving forward:

“You know Chris, that is a natural response to having a game like I had last week, a young quarterback especially. Human nature would say you’re going to be a little more careful, but if you do that I think you get in trouble more than you help yourself. So I think it is important in talking with the coaches, watching the film from the game to just go back and trust my reads, trust my instincts and play the game. And if I start to let previous performances affect the next game in a negative way, I am not going to be in this league very long. So every play is its own entity, every game is its own entity. I learned that from Coach Gruden. I think it is important that no matter what’s happened in the past, I keep playing the game the best way I know how and let the chips fall where they may.”


On if his eyes gave away his intent against the Giants:

“I think there are so many areas where I can and need to get better. I think my eyes have been pretty good in talking with the coaches. They’ve said, ‘You’ve done a good job with your eyes.’ I think that obviously out one all of those interceptions I made a mistake somewhere along the line somewhere along the line that caused the result to be what it was. But eye control, discipline with your reads and your progressions are all going to be a big part of being able to move coverage and get guys open and that is one of the deals that is kind of the game within the game. So I think that is something that as a more experienced quarterback as I go and as I play I am going to get better and better at and that should serve me well going forward as I get more experience.”


On lessons he learned in the Giants game and how to apply them this week:

“Each play was different. I think when you look at the turnovers, each one had a different reason why it happened. But just understanding that you can’t throw the ball blind, you can’t force footballs into coverage, sometimes it’s better to take a sack, sometimes it better to check it down or move in the pocket, so you are learning every play and each play has its own reason. I probably would have to sit down with you, Mike, and go through every play and watch the film together, which someday we can do. But to go through and say, ‘Here is what happened here, here is what happened here…’ We don’t have enough time to do that but every play there’s something.”


On what he does to improve in the film room:

“You have to be brutally honest with yourself. You have to check your ego out at the door when you walk into the film room, and say to the coaches, ‘Let’s make sure this never happens again. However you have to coach me, be hard on me to make sure that it gets through.’ So, being coachable, listening to what they have to say, the advice they give, being hard on yourself, and then on the practice field next week just emphasizing different areas. Always trying to make your weaknesses irrelevant and keep improving those and continue to use your strengths to get you where you want to go. I hope we’re learning and getting better each and every week and each and every game.”


On if there is a common theme for quarterbacks who have played well against Seattle:

“Well, I think it’s a lot of the same themes that happen in every game – whether you’re playing an outstanding defense like Seattle or a defense that’s middle-of-the-road, you’re going to have to do the same things, which is protect the football, stay ahead of the chains, stay out of third-and-long. All the things that affect a normal game are going to affect it when you play a top opponent like Seattle.”


On when he felt like he had turned the page on last week’s game:

“I always feel like it helps once I’ve watched the film both with the coaches and on my own. That helps you bring some closure to it, once you’ve been table to watch the film and evaluate it. That being said, I had games back in college that didn’t end the way I wanted to but I felt like fell on me. And even though we had a great career and went on to do good things after that, those games still don’t sit well with you. They’re still a part of who you are. They toughen you up and harden you a little bit. I think this game does the same thing, although once you watch the film, that’s when you start to move on.”


On taking advantage of the whole field as a quarterback when playing against a talented cornerback:

“We have our rules, we have our coverages that are kind of ignoring personnel. You’re just going to play by your rules, ‘All things being equal, here is how you play the game.’ Certainly personnel then is another element that factors into your decision-making as a quarterback, your play calling as a coach, where you’re going to put guys on the field and try to give guys a chance to be successful – understanding the personnel that we have and the personnel that they have in different spots. That’s the chess match, that’s the game. He [Richard Sherman] is a great corner. We have a lot of respect for him.  There’s a reason he signed a great contract and has a lot of success and a Super Bowl ring.  So, he’s a guy to be aware of on the field, but at the same time you don’t want to be letting it affect you too much. That’s a balance you have got to find.”


On playing against a hard-hitting secondary and not leading his receivers into hits:

“I think putting a receiver in a bad spot, period, whether you’re a hard hitter or not, you’re putting a guy in a tough spot. This week these guys have certainly done a great job of reading quarterbacks’ eyes and breaking on the ball very, very quickly and playing at a high tempo. I’m definitely going to want to be smart, throw to the open guy, and make good decisions. If I do that we’ll have much of a better chance of winning the game.”



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