Redskins Press Conferences: Kirk Cousins 11-16-2016

Kirk Cousins 7-28-2016

Kirk Cousins 11-16-2016

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke to members of the media Wednesday. Below is a collection of the quotes from the presser.

On WR Pierre Garçon:

“Pierre’s always been a consistent playmaker for us. He hasn’t lost a step at all as he’s gotten older. He’s still a very explosive player. He’s a very unique athlete with how powerful he is. He’s got very good hands, very strong hands. He’s physical, he’s competitive. He checks a lot of boxes as a wide receiver and as a football player. So there’s a reason he’s been around here for five straight years. There’s a reason that he was brought in five years ago to be a difference-maker. He’s delivered time and time again. And he’ll continue to do that as long as he’s a Redskin. Very good football player and I’ve really enjoyed playing with him and look forward to playing with him the rest of the year.”

On TE Vernon Davis and how much he has left in the tank:

“At his age, the number of years he has in his career and now being that this is his third team, I guess I wondered how much he had left in the tank, didn’t know. But it only took throwing it at a local high school one day in early April to realize he still had it. And I’ve kind of been scratching my head ever since that day wondering how we got him, how he got away from the places he’s been. Very talented, a great teammate. He works really hard and he’s made a lot of plays for us. So it’s just been a positive all the way around.”

On Spencer Long’s growth at center:

“Well, last year being able to play at guard for much of the season, Spencer just got valuable playing time, period. Whether it was at guard or center, just being out there and being in the mix of it for that many games and a playoff game was really good experience for him. Center takes it to another level in terms of the communication, the recognition of the fronts and the players and the substitutions and being able to send the other linemen and the entire group of 11 guys to the right people and make sure everything is targeted properly is no small task. So that certainly took time to get Spencer to get there. But, boy, he’s a very smart guy, very intelligent. If you know his background, you know he’s a pre-med major. He was going to go to medical school. So he’s definitely wired to be able to handle the position. It just takes time to learn it all, much like the position of quarterback has taken me. Wwe’re kind of growing together and it’s been a great experience for both of us and he’s done a really good job and been a big reason why we’ve been able to be pretty productive on offense.

On playing with a ‘high IQ’ center like Long:

“Yeah, he has a high ceiling, so you know you can push him and you know you can challenge him and take it further and further and it’s a joy to play with him. He’s a real competitor as well and it matters to him. It’s important to him and he wants to do his best every single play and he’s a very conscientious football player and I’m the same way, so we have a lot in common in that sense. He’s just done a really good job with the mental side of the game and obviously the physical side of actually being stout and pass protecting and making those run blocks. He’s still a very young player. There’s still a lot of growth and production ahead, too. So I think that’s the exciting part is that by no means has he reached his ceiling. I think he can continue to get better and better as a center for us.”

On if he has a relationship with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers:

“I don’t have a relationship with Aaron. I’ve never really crossed paths with him outside of the playoff game. [I’ve] just admired him from a distance. He’s a phenomenal player. I think it says it all, he has the highest passer rating in the history of the NFL. I’m a guy who just wants to study him and learn from him and that’s why kind of the fact that the Packers have lost a couple of games here really is irrelevant when you have him as the quarterback and some of the other great players that they have on defense. You realize you’ve got to come ready to go because they’re going to be hungry and they’re going to be ready.”

On if he’ll be more ‘juiced up’ going against Rodgers and the Packers:

“I’m juiced up every game, man. There’s really no such thing as ‘Oh, now it’s Sunday night and it’s Aaron Rodgers, I’m going to try now,’ you know? And, ‘I wasn’t trying against the Vikings [laughter].’ No, it’s you play hard every game and whether it’s Aaron Rodgers or anybody else, they are all really, really good. And you better bring it every single play. One mistake, one step the wrong way could be the difference in a win or a loss no matter who you’re playing, and Sunday night will be no different. So that’s why your preparation, your focus, the communication with teammates and coaches has to be at a high level, otherwise they will expose you.”

On if he learned anything from last season’s playoff game against the Packers:

“I think there are plenty of things that happened in that game that you learn from and build upon. I don’t know that I want to go into all the details and talk forever about it, but it was a valuable experience. It’s one that hurt, you know. Walking away from a playoff loss at home is disappointing and didn’t sit well with us. And we knew we’d have a great opportunity this season to come back and try to have a much better result.”

On if there was anything in particular he learned from that game that he’d like to share:

“No, I’ve got nothing for you, John. [laughter]”

On if overthinking prime-time games has contributed to the team’s record in prime time:

“No, I think you get put in prime-time games usually when you’re playing against good football teams, and we have to play well. It’s always a challenge to beat a good football team and the Packers are no different. So we’ll have a great challenge in front of us, but we just go out there and try to play our best football and handle our week of preparation leading up to the game as best we can so that we have a chance come Sunday night.”

On how comfortable he feels under center now:

“I’m always getting better. It’s not like I’ve played 10 seasons. I’m still very new, relative to many other quarterbacks in this league. So I’m just trying to grow and learn every game. I think each game I take another step forward and I gather some experiences and gain some understanding of how to play the position and keep getting better each week. Eleven weeks in – or whatever it’s been – I’ll continue to grow. I just go out there and play each week and let my play do the talking and let the chips fall where they may when the season is over. That’s ultimately when things will be evaluated and we’ll go from there.”

On WR DeSean Jackson’s big play ability:

“Yeah, it’s a lot of fun to play with DeSean because of the electricity he brings. It’s not just that he’s fast, he’s got really good hands. He tracks the football as well as anybody. He gives you a lot of room for error. You can throw the ball in a lot of different places and he goes and gets it and makes you right. He really can compete for the football, too, up in the air. He’s made plays a lot – in practice, especially – where he’s covered but he goes up and gets the football on a deep throw. It’s a unique ability that makes him elite. We have to keep trying to feed him and get opportunities for him because those plays are game-changing when he makes those plays for us.”

On what has allowed him to be more comfortable on the field:

“I think much like any other job, as you perform it longer in the same role, you’re going to get more comfortable and say, ‘OK, I’ve been here, I’ve done this, I can do this.’ Playing quarterback in the NFL is no different. Just continue to gain these experiences and go out to practice each day and each week and go through different challenges and just keep getting better. I think people want things to happen so fast, and say he either is or he isn’t – that’s just not how life works. It’s a process, it’s a journey. As long as I’m continuing to get better, that’s what I really want to do and I think I’ll be better a year from now than I am now.”

On what goes into improvised plays like one when he signaled to Garçon on Sunday:

“Every play we have rules and we have responsibilities based on coverages and blitzes and fronts and pressures. Whether it’s a run play or a pass play or a play-action or a dropback or a screen – every play has issues and things to be aware of and all 11 of us have to be able to recognize what the defense is doing and be able to play off of that and react accordingly and make the right decisions. The degree that we can do that – not just one play, but 60, 70, 80 plays – that’s usually the difference between a win and a loss or a good offense and an average offense. A play like that, we’re on the same page and we’re clicking, and we just have to continue to work to do that over and over and over.”

On preparing for the quick turnaround between the next two games:

“I really don’t do anything. I think I just focus on beating the Packers. We’ll take care of the next week when it comes. I think in the NFL, you just try to take it one week at a time and focus on the Green Bay Packers and drive it home from that game. Then we’ll get ready for the next one.”

On the origin of his celebration entering the locker room after the game last week:

“It all goes back to Quinton Dunbar. He’s been doing it for at least several months, maybe longer. I’ve asked him what the genesis is and I’ve never really gotten a clear answer. So you’d have to ask him specifically. But I think it’s creative. It was clever. It was original from him. I thought it fit for the way I was feeling in that moment. And it worked. And you heard Spencer Long behind me echo it too because he knew it too.”

On how RB Robert Kelley’s ability to avoid negative plays helps the offense’s play-action calls:

“Yeah, that’s a great stat that Rob was able to have so many productive runs. It does make a difference. It keeps our offense going in a positive direction. Play-action game can be effective for us. Some weeks it’s there, some weeks it isn’t. We just try to run the plays that are called and we try to put defenses in a tough spot where they have to think about a lot of different responsibilities throughout the course of the game.”

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