July 12, 2020

Washington Redskins Jay Gruden and Kirk Cousins discuss Giants debacle

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was asked to rate the difficulty of coming off a bad game like he had against the New York Giants: “It is hard to rank different experiences. They are all tough when you don’t win. You definitely learn from it, you get better as a quarterback from it, it toughens you and now we are focused on Seattle.

We’ve got a great opponent coming in here Monday night, national spotlight game, and it is very important that we play well and find a way to win.”

Cousins discussed the highs and lows regarding the reactions coming off his performances against the Philadelphia Eagles and Giants: “It’s been tough. Even my rookie year when you only get a couple spots and everybody is going to try to write the book on who you are as a quarterback from the end of the Ravens game or the Cleveland game and then you may get spot duty last year. So that is tough.

And to say how do you deal with that, you know, I don’t know that I have the perfect answer. I am the kind of guy who would like to know my future and like to know how things are going play out, I don’t.

So I try not to ride the roller coaster. I try to be as consistent as I can possibly be and I think that approach is going to help me have success in this league. But as a quarterback, you are going to have things that go your way, you’re going to have times where it is going to be tough. I think the guys that last are the guys who can ride it out and say consistent no matter what.”

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden talked about the need for Cousins to look off the defense, which seemed to be a problem against the Giants.

“He’s still progressing. He’s very young with limited starts. That’s going to come with experience.

Staring down receivers is part of it that you have to learn from. If you stare down receivers against these guys, you’re going to throw more than four picks – you’re going to throw about 11.

So we’ve got to make sure he does a great job with his eyes because that’s one thing Seattle does unbelievable is all eyes are on the quarterback and they drive and they do an excellent job of rallying to the ball, so he’s got to do a good job with his eyes and be decisive with his throws and accurate.

But that just comes with time and comes with preparation and learning from your reps that you get at practice and in the games and moving forward when you do make a mistake.

So I have confidence that Kirk is going to bounce back from his four-pick day and do a much better job moving forward.”

Cousins also talked about staring down his receivers in the Giants game: “I think there are so many areas where I can and need to get better.

I think my eyes have been pretty good in talking with the coaches. They’ve said, ‘You’ve done a good job with your eyes.’

I think that obviously out one all of those interceptions I made a mistake somewhere along the line somewhere along the line that caused the result to be what it was.

But eye control, discipline with your reads and your progressions are all going to be a big part of being able to move coverage and get guys open and that is one of the deals that is kind of the game within the game.

So I think that is something that as a more experienced quarterback as I go and as I play I am going to get better and better at and that should serve me well going forward as I get more experience.”

Cousins was asked if he would become more hesitant after a performance like the Giants game: “That is a natural response to having a game like I had last week, a young quarterback especially. Human nature would say you’re going to be a little more careful, but if you do that I think you get in trouble more than you help yourself.

So I think it is important in talking with the coaches, watching the film from the game to just go back and trust my reads, trust my instincts and play the game.

And if I start to let previous performances affect the next game in a negative way, I am not going to be in this league very long. So every play is its own entity, every game is its own entity. I learned that from Coach Gruden. I think it is important that no matter what’s happened in the past, I keep playing the game the best way I know how and let the chips fall where they may.”

Cousins talked about the lessons he learned from the Giants game: “Each play was different. I think when you look at the turnovers, each one had a different reason why it happened.

But just understanding that you can’t throw the ball blind, you can’t force footballs into coverage, sometimes it’s better to take a sack, sometimes it better to check it down or move in the pocket, so you are learning every play and each play has its own reason.

I probably would have to sit down with you, Mike, and go through every play and watch the film together, which someday we can do. But to go through and say, ‘Here is what happened here, here is what happened here…’ We don’t have enough time to do that but every play there’s something.”

Cousins mentioned his film study work: “You have to be brutally honest with yourself. You have to check your ego out at the door when you walk into the film room, and say to the coaches, ‘Let’s make sure this never happens again. However you have to coach me, be hard on me to make sure that it gets through.’

So, being coachable, listening to what they have to say, the advice they give, being hard on yourself, and then on the practice field next week just emphasizing different areas. Always trying to make your weaknesses irrelevant and keep improving those and continue to use your strengths to get you where you want to go. I hope we’re learning and getting better each and every week and each and every game.”

Cousins spoke about moving on from his performance against the Giants: “I always feel like it helps once I’ve watched the film both with the coaches and on my own. That helps you bring some closure to it, once you’ve been table to watch the film and evaluate it.

That being said, I had games back in college that didn’t end the way I wanted to but I felt like fell on me. And even though we had a great career and went on to do good things after that, those games still don’t sit well with you.

They’re still a part of who you are. They toughen you up and harden you a little bit. I think this game does the same thing, although once you watch the film, that’s when you start to move on.”

About Derek Norin

Derek Norin is a Contributor to District Sports Page. He is also the Washington Capitals correspondent for Pro Hockey News and is a contributor to Talk the Red. Derek was a copy editor for three different student publications at Ohio State and was a founder of the newspaper, the OSU Sentinel, that would become the OSU Rubicon today. Derek has been a member of SABR, SIHR, and PFRA. Derek put together www.capshistory.com, a history of the Capitals franchise told in Youtube videos. You can follow Derek on Twitter @dereknorin.

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