Kirk Cousins acknowledged Thursday that he was initially “shocked” and “in disbelief” after getting drafted by the Redskins last April, four rounds after the team picked Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III.
“I get the call from the Redskins and I’m just shocked,” Cousins told ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning. “And the living room where my family was, it was kind of silent. I said, ‘I guess I got picked by the Redskins.’ I just walked away, sort of in disbelief. That moment wasn’t quite how I pictured it.”
The disappointment stung, but it didn’t last long, he said.
“As a year now has passed since then, I can see the benefits of going to Washington – the coaching staff, the system I’m under, the players I get to be a part of [and] I love being part of the Washington D.C. area,” Cousins continued. “There are a lot of blessing in that. And I do believe I will get opportunities in D.C. to show what I can do. And, if I take advantage of those opportunities, I’ll get that chance to be a starter someday.”
As a rookie, Cousins proved himself to be potential No. 1 material when he stepped in for Griffin in Cleveland and confidently directed the Redskins to a 38-21 victory. A week earlier, he helped rally the Redskins past the Ravens in overtime, 31-28.
And with Griffin recovering from knee surgery, Cousins is expected to get all of the first team reps this offseason – and perhaps beyond, depending on how smoothly RG3’s recovery from goes.
It’s all led to speculation about Cousins’ long term future in Washington. If RG3 returns – and remains – healthy, do the Redskins really need both quarterbacks? And if not, is Cousins, who will turn 25 in training camp, an asset the team would consider trading at the right time, for the right return?
Asked about the possibility, Cousins couldn’t deny that the thought has crossed his mind.
“It’s exciting to think that someday I may get the chance to be a starter for an NFL franchise,” he said. “As much as I’m pleased with how my rookie year went, you’re only as good as your last performance. I’m going to get a few more performances with the Redskins before my time there is done.”
But Cousins also conceded that he’s got some improving to do, and that honing his game as a backup isn’t the worst thing in the world.
“I don’t know how long I’m going to be there, but I’ve still got some work to do,” he added. “So, as much as I was pleased with my rookie year and it’s an honor to hear that teams may be interested in you down the road, there’s just too much work still to be done for me count my chickens before they’ve hatched.”
Cousins continued: “Patience is the name of the game. It’s a part of life. Things just don’t happen as fast as we want them to. I was backup at Michigan State for two years. That’s part of the deal; you wait your turn. Right now, I view my NFL career as a marathon, not a sprint. … I do believe that the cream will always rise to the top. So that if I’m good enough, I’m going to get my chance. And if I’m not good enough, I’ve got live with that.”