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5 Takeaways: Oct. 14 Kirk Cousins Presser


Here's five takeaways from Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins' Oct. 7 press conference at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

1. One week it was a game-winning touchdown in the waning seconds of a divisional game. The next, it's a game-ending interception for touchdown. The NFL is going to test you every week.

Kirk Cousins has seen a lot over the last two weeks between his performance on a 90-yard drive against the Philadelphia Eagles and a missed opportunity against the Atlanta Falcons.

It's just more proof that each and every week in the NFL is a different test.

"This is a league that you've got to bring it every week," he said. "It's a short memory. You're only as good as your last game. You've got to be consistent week-in and week-out and you can never get too high and you can never get too low. I try not to ride that emotion roller coaster, so we'll just keep going, stay consistent and try to learn from what didn't go well on Sunday and try to not have it repeat itself."

While Sunday's loss was emotional for Cousins and his teammates, the fourth-year quarterback said the way you bounce back from a game like that can be telling.

"I don't know if it matters if you're young or old, I just think it's human nature to have emotion take over and be a part of the way you process things," he said. "You have to able to detach that a little bit, just learn from things, focus on the process and get back to work. If you're going to provide emotion, provide positive emotion, energy and juice when you come back to work. Again, this isn't my first time going through a challenge, an adversity, a big game or whatever, so you just go back to what you've always done and trust that it'll handle itself."

2. The offense has done a good job at methodically -- and at times slowly -- moving the ball. With DeSean Jackson possibly coming back this weekend, that could change.

When you have the game's best deep threat, chances are you'll at least target them on a few long throws throughout the game.

After missing pretty much the entire preseason and the first few regular season games outside of one-plus series, Jackson could make his long awaited return this weekend.

Cousins and Jackson hooked up a few times last season for long touchdowns including ones against the Seattle Seahawks and Philadelphia Eagles, his former team.

"DeSean certainly provides an element downfield that is unique and it is a strength of his to go down the field and track the football," Cousins said. "Having him back will make a difference. The key will be just giving him a chance, letting him go make plays, putting the ball in his hands and then from there it's on him to do some special stuff, which he has proven he can do."

Since going down with a hamstring injury in the season opener, the Redskins have only looked deep down the field a handful of times.

Cousins said you "want to be calculated" when trying passes that travel good distance, but it could open up a lot more possibilities for the offense.

"I think Jay [Gruden] would tell you he'd like to take more shots too," Cousins said. "The opportunities will come. That's not something that I am too concerned about…I think that's week-to-week, the game plan, the personnel, the scheme, coaches decisions and the timing of it. But I think those shots will come, and when they do come, the key is for me is to make sure we hit them. Make sure the ball is thrown accurately on time and the give the guy a chance to make a play."

3. When it comes to playing a potent Jets defense, Cousins wants to stick to the script.

On paper the Jets have one of the best defensive units in the NFL. In the stat sheet the Jets are among the best.

A look back at some of the top images in games between the Washington Redskins and New York Jets.

And on gameday, they bring it every play.

The strength of their team, the Jets have given up less than 14 points per game through their first four contest.

"I think you've just got to stick to your rules, play by your rules, trust your rules and not deviate from what you're being coached to do and what your rules tell you to do," Cousins said of playing the Jets. "You know, the blitz can create a lot of big plays and you've got to avoid the negative plays – the sacks, the fumbles, the turnovers and those kind of things. When you do that, you give yourself a chance and you stay in it."

Returning to the Jets after stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots, cornerback Darrelle Revis, a six-time Pro Bowler, is a player the Redskins must keep tabs on at all times.

"I would think he ranks right up there with anybody if not the best," Cousins said. "He'll be a great challenge for us and he's certainly earned the respect that we give him."

4. With each bad play that is made, Cousins critically evaluates his play in hopes that they'll be corrected the next time a similar situation arises.

No quarterback will ever come close to completing all of the passes thrown, but on any bad throws Cousins attempts, whether they be incompletions or interceptions, he goes back and lists some of the possibilities that led to the ball failing to be possessed by the target.

"If I miss, I go back and look at, 'OK, what did I do? Was it I over-strided? Did I expect him to be somewhere else? Was there something with protection that caused my mechanics to be off?'" Cousins said. "Whatever it may be, you have got to go back and look at it and have the correct review. But then make the fix, move on and wipe it and say, "OK, we're good. I'll make the throw next time.' I think going forward we'll be fine in that area."

As far as the receiver's end of the bargain, execution with the details is important.

"To be a powerful offense, we've got to be on those [details] and have attention made to them," Cousins said. "But, at the same time, it's an imperfect game and you're going to have steps that are off, you're going to have times where things are not as you draw them up and you've got to be able to react. So, it's a balance, it's a little bit of both. It's, 'We'd love to have your steps be there, but Kirk, if he's not there, let's make the adjustment and put the ball in a different spot.' That ability to react on the move and say, 'OK, it was drawn up to look like this, but now, in the heat of battle, it doesn't,' that ability to react is something that I think comes with time and something that I want to get better at and improve upon."

5. Even though he hasn't gotten as many carries this season, and he has yet to record a touchdown, Alfred Morris is still the same guy teammates and fans love.

It would be easy for Morris, the team's workhorse over the last three-plus seasons, to be openly frustrated with his inability to cross the goal line this season.

But that's just not who he is.

As the coaches find ways to get him more involved after three weeks where he's totaled just 31 carries, Cousins said the two-time Pro Bowler has been "very consistent" with his daily approach.

"That's the mark of a great professional is a guy who comes to work every day, doesn't go up or down, is just consistent," Cousins said. "When he's been very successful going to Pro Bowls, he's been the same guy. So, no matter what's going on around him, he's going to work really, really hard and have a humble attitude and do whatever he's told to do. That's why he's a guy you want in the huddle with you and why he's a guy you can count on and why he's so consistent is because he approaches the game and he approaches life that way." 




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