Redskins' Cousins 'encouraged' after two starts

Redskins' Cousins 'encouraged' after two starts
December 24, 2013, 4:30 pm
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Cousins: Redskins close to breaking through with win

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins says he’s “encouraged” by his performances the past two games, despite the final score.

“I feel like I’ve improved,” he said Tuesday at Redskins Park. “I’ve done some good things. I feel like there’s a lot I can take from it and be encouraged about going into the offseason.”

Indeed, it’s been a mixed bag for Cousins since he took over as the Redskins' starter.

He threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns in Atlanta. Against the Cowboys, though, he completed just 2 of his final seven passes as the Redskins collapsed late.

He's been sacked just once in two games while playing behind the same offensive line as Robert Griffin III, who was sacked 24 times in the five contests before he was benched. But he's also been picked off three times. And he's lost a fumble.

“It’s important to cut down on the turnovers,” Cousins said. “You’re going to turn the ball over here and there--that’s part of playing fast and aggressive. But obviously, you don’t want to have the multi-turnover games and I’m going to cut down on those as I continue [to gain experience].”

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Asked about being sacked only once, Cousins praised his linemen and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

"I’ve always said that a quarterback is only as good as the guys around him,” Cousins responded. “And I feel like our offensive line has done an outstanding job of protecting me, not turning guys loose. Also, Kyle Shanahan has done a great job of play-calling to put me in a position to be successful where I’m able to get rid of the football and I’m able to find an outlet.”

Cousins gets one more start against the Giants. What lies ahead is unclear. The options would seem to include returning next season as Griffin’s backup, pushing Griffin for playing time or proving his worth to another team and getting traded.

For the teams involved Sunday, it's a meaningless game. For Cousins, it's much more than that. It's another chance to prove he's ready to be a starter in the NFL. 

“Obviously, I want to still finish strong and show even more this week,” he said. “ But I think there’s a lot to be feeling positive about and there are other things to be hard on yourself and go back and learn from. I’m in a good spot right now. Obviously, we would have liked to have those be wins, but we’re two points from being 2-0 in this three game stretch.”

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