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Five Takeaways: Kirk Cousins' Eagles Week Presser


Here's five takeaways from Redskins quarterback Trent Williams' media session with reporters on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

1. Potentially losing Jordan Reed this Sunday would hurt, but others will step up

Head coach Jay Gruden announced today that tight end Jordan Reed wasn't at practice Wednesday because he was going through concussion protocol.

Depending on his situation, the Redskins may not have him available for Sunday's game against the Eagles, which Cousins believes will be an opportunity for other playmakers to step up.

"We'd love to have him out there," Cousins said of Reed. "He's obviously a great player for us. We've talked about it all year long how depth is going to be important and we're going to need other players to step up.

"I mean, he's a very talented player, he's shown that. We love to have our best players out on the field with us. But like I said, you understand that it's a part of playing in this league that injuries are going to happen. Guys are going to be in-and-out and it gives a great opportunity for other players to step up. As we've said all along, we have several talented players who can help fill that gap."

2. If Cousins' reads take him there, Jamison Crowder will get the ball

After a hot start to the season, wide receiver DeSean Jackson has expressed some frustrations with his lack of production over the last two weeks. He's only caught four passes for 40 yards against the Browns and Ravens combined, which have left him feeling as though he's not earning what he's being paid.

Considering Cousins' options in the passing game this season, distributing the ball evenly will be something the quarterback must continue to strive for on a consistent basis. Cousins knows how important Jackson is to the offense, so wanting to get him the ball has never been an issue.

"I just go where my reads take me," Cousins said. "I think there were times in the previous games where you say my reads took me to him, but we didn't connect. That's the plays where you say you want those back. I've said it quite a bit that he's a talented player and we get him the football, good things happen…I've never really wished I got it to him less. I always come away from games saying if we had just gotten him the football more. But at the same time, I've got to go where my reads take me and stay disciplined to that, otherwise I'll get myself in trouble in the long-run. We're always going to find ways to get him involved."

3. Cousins always wants constant communication on the sideline

When wide receivers do vent their frustrations after a play in which they didn't connect on a pass or receive a target, Cousins doesn't want the negativity to fester on the sideline.

"I think my role is to keep everyone engaged, right?" Cousins said. "And try to be positive. I'm not going around the sidelines being negative or trying to make guys disengaged. I think the goal is to be positive, encourage guys, talk about plays that happened, communicate. Say, 'Did you feel like you were open there? Here's what I was thinking.'"

So far, Cousins believes he's done a good job of that, making sure his receivers are ready to go on the next drive and having conversations about coverages after a sequence has ended.

"This isn't backyard football in third grade, you know?" he said. "These guys know coverages and they understand, hey, it was Tampa 2 there, the ball's not going to go to me here, but I still have to run my route to occupy it so it can go to someone else. So we have those discussions and talk about it and make sure they're aware."

4. Despite his success against them, Cousins still has a lot of respect for Eagles defense

While there has been some turnover on the Eagles defense, Cousins and the Redskins have had some well-documented success against their division rival seated just up I-95, winning their last three games against them.

In his two games against Philadelphia last year, Cousins passed 62-of-92 for five touchdowns and zero interceptions, good for a 106.0 quarterback rating. Still, Cousins remained diplomatic, understandably, as the Eagles boast the second-best defense in the league through their four games.

Check out these photos of the Redskins' offense preparing for their Week 6 game against the Philadelphia Eagles Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park.

"I think [they're] very talented. A lot of good, individually talented players," Cousins said."There has been some turnover like you'd expect in the NFL, but they still have a lot of the same pieces back that were very good players for them last year and years before that. I have tremendous respect for the talent level, for the scheme, the coaching staff that they have, and it will be a great challenge for us. Statistically, they have been playing as well as anybody in the league."

5. Rookie Carson Wentz has taken advantage of his situation

Prior to the start of the season, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was planning to be Sam Bradford's backup, which changed abruptly when Bradford was traded to the Vikings and Wentz was thrust into the starter's role.

Cousins hasn't seen too much of Wentz's young career just yet – he's watched some tape when the Redskins prepared for the Browns defense – but Cousins acknowledged that, as someone in a similar position last year, Wentz has taken advantage of his opportunity.

"It's just the life of a quarterback in the NFL," Cousins said. "You just always stay ready and you keep learning and you take advantage of the reps you get, and the reps you don't get you try to take mental reps. Clearly he [Carson Wentz] has done that and has played at a high level. It's the life that all of us go through, just trying to always be ready and take advantage of whatever opportunity we get."

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