Taken after Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL Draft, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has been given a rare opportunity to develop and compete with another freshman quarterback.
"I think it's neat to go through this rookie experience with another quarterback," Cousins told Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. "There aren't really many quarterbacks in the NFL, who as rookies have another rookie alongside them to share the experiences with."
Through rookie mini-camp and offseason workouts, Cousins and Griffin III roomed together, ate together, worked out together and studied the playbook together.
"Robert and I have a great relationship, and we've had a lot of fun so far," he said. "We wish each other all the best."
While Griffin III has been named the Redskins starter, Cousins has the opportunity to compete with Rex Grossman for the backup job.
In order to usurp the 10-year veteran, Cousins will need to learn and adjust on the fly.
"There's a lot of unknowns, having never been through this experience before," he said. "It's my first NFL training camp, and I'm trying to learn this playbook as fast as possible.
"You're going to make those rookie mistakes and first-time errors. The important thing, is that when you do make a mistake, that it doesn't happen again; that you're able to learn from the first time and not make repeated mistakes."
Cousins will be an interesting storyline during training camp, but should get his best opportunities during the preseason games in August.
"It's going to be somewhat surreal playing those preseason games, but you've got to lock in and focus," he said.
Ironically--given Griffin III's own learning curve--Cousins's best veteran resource will be Grossman, who has three years experience in the system.
To his credit, Grossman has been a willing mentor.
"Having Rex Grossman and Jonathan Crompton here, they've been very helpful--more helpful than I thought they would be," Cousins said. "It's been a great relationship with the quarterbacks so far."
For the last two days, Cousins has been the only quarterback working out with coaches, and noted that he is in the best shape of his life.
"Playing college football as much as I did, you do have some injuries and some hits that pile up," Cousins said. "At 23 [years old], soon to be 24, I'm obviously in the best shape in terms of my strength and certainly in terms of my knowledge of the game."