While updates about Robert Griffin III’s recovery from knee surgery dominate the headlines, the Redskins’ other quarterback has quietly gone about preparing himself to be the starter – just in case RG3 isn’t ready to go Week 1.
“I don’t think anything has changed in terms of my preparation,” Kirk Cousins said Thursday morning on NFL Network. “I may have a little greater sense of urgency, or feel little a more anxiety. I don’t think anxiety is the right word, but a little more excitement, knowing that it’s right there and I got to be ready to go when I get back in a couple of weeks.”
Earlier this month, Coach Mike Shanahan confirmed what most expected: Cousins will take all of the first team reps during OTAs and minicamp as Griffin recovers from surgery to repair the ACL, LCL and meniscus in his right knee.
“As far as the actual preparation, whether it’s the weight lifting or the watching [film] or doing conditioning or throwing, all of that is going to be same whether I’m going to be the backup the or the starter,” Cousins said. “It’s really all up in the air, so it shouldn’t have any impact anyways.”
With RG3’s injury concerns – he was forced out of three games and missed a start in 2012 – it can be argued that Cousins is the Redskins’ most valuable second-string player. But Cousins said he’s not worried about his current designation. In time, he said, he’s confident that he’ll get an opportunity to prove he’s starting material.
In his first career start as a rookie last season, Cousins passed for 329 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Redskins to a thorough 38-21 victory in Cleveland.
“My belief is that the cream always rises to the top,” the 24-year-old said. “I was a backup at Michigan State and I was in quarterback competitions there and wasn’t sure if I would ever play. I took comfort in the fact that the cream rises to the top. If you’re good enough ... you’re going to get that chance.”
“You’re not going to fall through the cracks,” Cousins continued. “There’s too many teams that are looking for a quarterback. There’s too many teams that want to give guys a chance to show what they can do. So, it’s not so much will I get that chance? It’s more, when that chance comes, will I be ready, will I have done the work along the way in the more quiet times when no one was watching? Was I preparing myself so when I do get brought the forefront or into the spotlight was I ready to shine?”