Kirk Cousins said that he can’t be concerned with all of the issues swirling around Redskins Park this week. He just needs to worry about being the starting quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
“I just need to get ready to go,” he said in front of a packed media room.
He said that as the backup he prepares every week as though he is the starter, but he admitted that things are a little different when he goes into it knowing he will be the starter.
“Certainly in human nature you’re going to have a heightened sense of urgency now that you know,” he said.
This will be Cousins’ second career start. Last year, he started in Week 15 in Cleveland in a game that was critical to the Redskins’ playoff hopes. Cousins had a big day and won 38-21 on their way to the NFC East title. This year, with the 3-10 Redskins playing out the string, it’s not quite the same.
“Certainly different circumstances than when I got my first start last year agains Cleveland and these are not the circumstances you necessarily want to be in when you start the season,” he said. “But, good or bad, I’ve got to be ready to go.”
Robert Griffin III, the team’s franchise quarterback, is being shut down for the rest of the year as Mike Shanahan is concerned about being his too often. Cousins, the Redskins’ fourth-round pick in the 2012 draft, said that he thought that Griffin was handling the situation well.
“His demeanor today has been positive, in the sense that he’s taking the high road,” he said. “I think that at the same time it’s tough for him, so I don’t want to come across like he doesn’t care that he’s sitting.”
Even though both Shanahan and Griffin said that the change to Cousins as the starter would be for the three games that remain this season, Cousins was told not told about anything beyond this week.
“Their literal wording was not ‘game to game,’ it wasn’t ‘three weeks,’” he said. They told me I’m going to be starting against Atlanta, and honestly that’s enough for me to be worrying about right now. When the plane touches down back from Atlanta, I’ll start thinking about the following week.”