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5 Takeaways: Sept. 30 Kirk Cousins Presser


Here's five takeaways from Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins' Sept. 30 press conference at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

1. Cousins was disappointed with "situational management" during the Giants game, but there were some positives during the game. 

While the Redskins offense looked flat at times throughout the game including three turnovers, it wasn't all bad.

Jordan Reed once again laid out a stat line only few tight ends can achieve in the NFL with six receptions for 96 yards, and the offensive line, even without Shawn Lauvao and Morgan Moses for parts of the game, gave up just one sack late in the game.

"To throw the ball 49 times, I felt like we did a lot of good things – only took one sack," Cousins said. "We moved it up and down the field. If we didn't fumble on the goal line there, we come away with more points. So, there were a lot of positives to build on and that's what I like to focus on. But certainly that were two or three plays that really can change the course of the entire game and those are the ones you have to go look back and correct and make sure don't repeat themselves."

The game marked the fifth straight loss to the Giants over the last three seasons, three of which Cousins has started.

Thursday night's game, in some ways, was reminiscent of his start against the Giants last season when he threw four interceptions.

Mentally, though, it was much different.

"I think I've been much better and feel much better about that this year," he said. "Feel more confident and that experience is so valuable. That's the great thing about the NFL is that you're going to have setbacks, but when you do, the next Sunday is coming soon. We're excited about the opportunity to go out and put a much better product on the field this Sunday."

2. Timing with Jordan Reed is key, especially with the way he's started off the season.

While Reed did indeed get six catches for nearly 100 yards against the Giants, he could have also had two touchdown receptions on the night had two different plays in the end zone ended up differently.

In both situations, Reed got a jump on the defense, just enough to create the separation needed to give yourself a chance to score.

He didn't get to record his second and third touchdowns on the season, though, as both passes were underthrown.

"Yeah, I thought the first one Jordan beat him so much that a part of me said, 'Don't overthrow him. Just give him a chance,'" Cousins said. "When you win that much at the line of scrimmage, you start to try to aim it and try to give him a chance to just make sure it's not overthrown. As a result, sure enough, when you start aiming it and not throwing it, it gets underthrown and the guy was able to recover. So, that one was one we felt we left on the table and then other one to Jordan was a tough deal where the protection, the safety blitz got on me quickly and I wasn't able to set my feet and let it go."

Late in the second quarter, Cousins once again tried to find Reed in the end zone, this time on a fade in the corner, but the ball was thrown behind both the tight end and the coverage.

"That was another one where you felt like Jordan had beat his guy and if the ball had been able to be thrown further out potentially could've been a touchdown as well," Cousins said. "And that's where you walk away and say, 'You know, we have the talent to make the plays. The plays are there to be made. We've just got to make them.' We've got to be play through these things and work through them and hopefully, like I said, not repeat the same things over and over."

3. Cousins is confident in the offensive line shuffle, which will see either Spencer Long or Arie Kouandjio make their first start of the season at left guard.

It was tough news to swallow this week.

After three great games in both pass protection and setting up the run, the offensive line lost one of their veterans for the season in left guard Shawn Lauvao, as he was placed on Injured Reserve on Tuesday.

The Redskins will now rely on either Long or Kouandjio to start with Josh LeRibeus still a key backup.

Regardless of who is in, Cousins believes the line will continue to hold up against powerful front sevens.

"I think we have a lot of experience upfront," Cousins said. "I think Josh LeRibeus and Spencer Long are really smart guys and have played a lot of football. So, I trust them and we'll just go on business as usual and just keep working. That's kind of part of playing in this league and going through a long 16-game season."

4. There was both some good and some bad from an individual standpoint against the Eagles last year.

After Robert Griffin III went down with a dislocated ankle against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2 of the 2014 season, Cousins entered the game and connected on 22-of-33 passes for 250 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 41-10 victory.

The next week against the Eagles, Cousins, at least on paper, had the best performance of his young career, throwing for 427 yards and three touchdown passes.

He was voted FedEx Air Player of the Week for his efforts.

But despite the gaudy yardage number, Cousins said he's a lot better now than he was a year ago, especially with his footwork.

"It was a productive game offensively, but, boy, we left a lot of plays out there," he said. "I thought my footwork was pretty inconsistent. I thought some of my decision making or just my overall procedure of playing the quarterback position was inconsistent at times. I came away from watching that film saying, 'Wow it's encouraging to see how far I've improved.' It takes going back and watching that game to really be able to see that."

5. Cousins is preparing for what could be a sloppy game weather-wise on Sunday.

Depending on the track and timing of Hurricane Joaquin, the Washington, D.C., area could be in for quite the storm this weekend.

A countdown of the Top 10 images of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins during the 2014 season.

Drenching rain and gusty winds are in the forecast, meaning the game could be one that's determined on ball security.

As the game nears and it becomes clear that the storm will hit on gameday, then the Redskins quarterback will plan accordingly.

"If it's going to stay dry out here the next couple of days then really the best strategy is to literally dump [the ball] in a bucket," Cousins said. "It's kind of overkill, but it's probably your best option, if nothing else to just get center-quarterback exchanges with Kory [Lichtensteiger] after dunking it in a bucket. If nothing else, potentially even filter some of those footballs into a period here and there to get that practice."

Cousins said he's able to "throw a wet ball pretty consistently" but both a rainy and windy day can and will create a challenge under center.

"More than anything, throwing is probably a little easier than just the center-quarterback exchange, just getting that snap," he said. "Because it comes up quickly and if you don't get a clean grip, it can slip right through your hands. So center-quarterback exchange is probably just as big of an emphasis as the actual throwing and catching."




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