Falcons ready to face Kirk Cousins

Falcons ready to face Kirk Cousins
December 12, 2013, 1:00 pm
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Cousins: I gotta be ready to go

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) talks with Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) after their game at FedEx Field. The Falcons won 24-17.

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Folks in Washington weren’t the only ones paying close attention to the developments at Redskins Park on Wednesday. Folks in Atlanta—namely the Falcons—were monitoring situation, as well.

With Robert Griffin III benched and Kirk Cousins set to start Sunday at the Georgia Dome, Falcons coach Mike Smith and his staff had to make some adjustments to their game plan.

“He’s got a little different skill set,” Smith said of Cousins. “I think that we’ll see that the running game will be very similar. Coach Mike Shanahan and his staff’s running game has been very similar for many years and hasn’t changed a whole lot.”

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Smith added: “We still have to be prepared for the read option, but that’s not probably Kirk’s strong suit. He's a guy that we’re familiar with, and he can throw the football.”

Indeed, Smith got a good look at Cousins last season when he replaced Griffin in the third quarter of the Falcons' 24-17 victory at FedEx Field. Griffin had been forced from the game with a concussion after a hit from linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.

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Cousins finished the game 5 of 9 for 111 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Cousins also connected with Santana Moss for 77-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“He hit us for some big plays there in the second half when we played him last year,” Smith said.