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Five Takeaways: Kirk Cousins' #SkinsCamp Presser

kirk-cousins-camp-takeaways-660-350.jpg's Stephen Czarda provides five takeaways from Trent Williams press conference at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.

1. With football back, Cousins' primary goal over the next few months is to lead the Redskins to a great season.
While both the Redskins and Cousins have made it clear that the desired end result for the quarterback is to remain in Washington long-term, the Michigan State product will once again be playing the season under the franchise tag.

With last week's deadline for a long-term deal now in the rearview mirror, the next few months will strictly be about his on-field performance.

"I've been feeling good the last several weeks, and I believe we've done a good job communicating between myself and the team," Cousins said. "We're all on the same page. We've done everything we possibly can do to get that settled and move forward. I think we're all in a good place right now. We've got enough to worry about trying to get our offense playing at the level it's going to need to have a great season so that I can be back in future years."

Cousins, of course, is entering his third season as the Redskins' starting quarterback after earning the job in 2015.

Over the last two years, Cousins has guided the Redskins to a 17-14-1 regular season record and an NFC East title in 2015. During that span, Cousins has passed for more than 9,000 yards with 54 touchdown passes to 23 interceptions. He is also the only player in franchise history to win multiple NFC Offensive Player of the Month awards.

His only focus over the next few months will be replicating his recent success.

"If you win football games, everything else takes care of itself and that's a beautiful thing," Cousins said. "So, all we have to do, all I have to do, all anybody with a one-year deal has to do is focus on winning football games, and if you do that there is going to be plenty of opportunities down the road. So my focus never really has to change from that standpoint."

2. In hopes of being the long-term answer at quarterback in Washington, Cousins has studied some of the league's best quarterbacks.
For the first time since 1999 when Brad Johnson made the Pro Bowl, the Redskins had a quarterback in the annual all-star game when Cousins was a late addition.

Take a look at photos of Redskins QB Kirk Cousins and LT Trent Williams playing in the 2017 Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Cousins was the last NFC quarterback to enter the game and tried to engineer a game-winning drive before his last pass slipped through Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham's hands. While he finished the game completing 14-of-20 attempts for a game-high 158 yards, the week in Orlando was bigger for him than the night's performance.

Cousins was able to see how other top quarterbacks – and even elite players at other positions – approach football.

"Being at the Pro Bowl was helpful to be around great players, not just quarterbacks but some of the best defensive players in the NFC, and to practice with them all week and learn from them and watch their habits I think was helpful for me," Cousins said. "I'm going to continue to look for examples to follow. There certainly are a group of quarterbacks in their late 30s like Drew [Brees], Tom [Brady], Eli [Manning], Philip Rivers – I'm probably leaving somebody out – but guys that have played as receivers have changed on their team and coaches have changed on their team, they've been a steadying force, continuing to produce year in and year out.

"I think that consistency and that ability to deliver a similar result no matter what's going on around them, says a lot about them as football players and as people and that's the kind of continuity and stability we want to have here in Washington. We're excited, I think the main players and the veterans here are excited to try to create that culture."

3. Cousins randomly met Terrelle Pryor Sr. at a rest stop in Cleveland last year.
Late in the offseason last year, Cousins and his wife we on the way back from his hometown in Michigan when they stopped at a Starbucks in the Cleveland area.

While making the quick detour, Cousins noticed a familiar face in Pryor, who played quarterback for Ohio State at the same time as Cousins' first three seasons at Michigan State.

"He had his hood up trying to blend in," Cousins said. "He stopped me and I went over and said hello. We obviously both played in the Big 10 and he introduced himself. I was surprised at how big he was then, too, in the line at Starbucks."

A few months later, Cousins watched as Pryor impressed for Cleveland in their Week 4 matchup with Washington at FedExField.

"When I watched him in Week 4 I believe it was against the Browns, I was really impressed with what he was able to do, the separation he was getting, the number of times they went his way and he was still producing," Cousins said. "He had a great year last year, we just want to build on that and hopefully give him an opportunity to have even more success this season."

4. Training camp is no longer the "Super Bowl" for Cousins.
During his first three seasons with the Redskins, Cousins – a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft – viewed training camp as the most important period of time for him.

Check out behind the scenes images from Quarterback, Kirk Cousin's 2017 Redskins Photo Shoot.

A backup to fellow 2012 draft selection Robert Griffin III, training camp gave Cousins extended on-field action that he wouldn't receive during the regular season.

And during the team's training camp in 2015, Cousins even alternated second- and third-team reps with Colt McCoy as the two battled for positioning in the quarterback hierarchy.

Now entrenched as the team's starting quarterback, Cousins doesn't have the mindset now while in Richmond.

"I think it's just a reminder that this isn't my Super Bowl, if you will," Cousins said. "It's a process getting to Week 1, and that becomes what really matters. In the past, training camp was my Super Bowl. I didn't know if I was going to be on the team, if I was going to be the backup, the third-string. So, every day in training camp was determining my future in this league. That's not the case as much. Whereas everyday now in training camp, it's building a foundation that will eventually this season determine my future in this league.

"So, putting everything in its proper perspective, I think is the adjustment I'm trying to make going from being a backup player to now being a starter."

5. Cousins will pull daddy double-duty in the offseason.
Earlier this year, Cousins' wife Julie announced that the couple are expecting their first child. Shortly after, Kirk confirmed that the due date is the week of the Redskins' Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Once Baby Cousins arrives, Julie will take on a majority of parenting duties as Kirk focuses on the season. But when the offseason arrives, it will be Kirk who will be up for late night cries and demands.

"A lot of players have done this and I notice Philip Rivers has, I think, eight kids," Cousins said with a smile. "If he can do it with eight, I better be able to do it with one, no excuses. We'll see, I tell people, 'Bring it on, here we go.' Life just keeps going, you can't stop it and we're excited. I know Julie's going to carry a lot of the load in the fall and that'll help, but she'll be ready for me to help pick up the slack come the offseason so we're excited… Double the duty to make up for all the time she puts in this fall, but we're excited."

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