On Wednesday, July 24, 2013, Redskins QB Kirk Cousins addressed the media following the training camp conditioning test at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
On playing in game situations as opposed to 11-on-11 practice:
"Well there's a lot to be gained from practice but there's nothing like game experience and I don't care if it's a preseason game, a regular season game, or a playoff game. When you're out there in front of people and it's televised, there's a different feeling and preseason games care a lot of value for developing players."
On the difference between Year 1 and Year 2 when it comes to timing and rhythm during preseason games:
"It's vastly different. It's hard to quantify, but just knowing that I've been there and I've done it before I'll have confidence. I'll know my teammates better. I'll know how to study my opponents better and that familiarity with everything that I'll face makes a tremendous difference.
"I can certainly see the vast improvement and from year one to year two I can look back and see the vast improvement. All of those times in meeting and on the practice fields and games, you look back and don't even realize how much you picked up until you can look back and realize what you didn't understand and what you do now understand.
"I think there's definitely some increased confidence and increased experience. We have the core of our team essentially entirely back which will help us but being in a new surrounding and having a new facility does make a different feel but we role with the changes and I expect a great training camp. We have everything we need to be successful. Now all we have to do is put the work in."
On whether or not the team has the mentality needed to handle high expectations:
"I think one of the strengths of this team is the continuity. There was not a lot of turnover from last year to this year. We were able to keep, I think outside of Lorenzo Alexander, much of the core of our team is back and so as a result that gives us a great chance to have success and now that we've tasted that playoff birth and a division championship it only makes us hungry for more."
On hearing that Robert Griffin III was cleared for practice:
"You know, with Robert nothing really surprises me. I mean he's the kind of guy that beats the odds, who overcomes obstacles and so I was ready for whatever was going to happen and he is going to want to push it and the coaches are going to want to help him rest it but like I said before I expect him to be ready Monday night but that doesn't really change my mental approach."
"It is quite an accomplishment. He looks really good and he's hungry. He's even hungrier now and I think he'll prove to people that he is back and he can play at just as high of a level as he was before the injury. It's going to be fun to watch. I'll have a front row seat but certainly until I pass the torch to him I want it to run smoothly and effectively until he's back."
On how important preseason repetitions are:
"My understanding is that they're going to ease Robert in and it's going to be a day to day week to week kind of thing where they need to assess it and obviously not push it but I'll play when called upon and certainly expect to be mixed in with the ones (first team) and the twos (second team) and probably more with the twos as time goes on."
On the biggest difference between Richmond and Ashburn, and being a veteran as opposed to being a rookie:
"Well it's a little weird taking a 15 minute bus ride just to get to practice from meeting rooms. That will be a little different. Honestly the football field is still the same dimensions. It's going to be more similar than different. I think that having the fans here tomorrow will create an extra excitement. Year 1 to Year 2, it's hard to put a measurement on how much more comfortable I am but just looking over the playbook this summer and even today it's just night and day from last year."
"It's an outstanding facility. You have practice fields. You have a great environment for fans to be able to watch. Our hotel is outstanding. We have meeting rooms and just a great situation. The weight room, training room, and locker room are brand new. We're ready to go to work. Now the work just has to get done."
"As a quarterback, you don't do much hitting, so the thing that gets the most sore is your feet. To have a nice practice field your feet are going to stay good, so I'm excited about it. I think the fans will be too and I hope it doesn't get too hot and stays cool."
On if getting more reps because of Robert's situation allowed him to grow faster than would have otherwise:
"Absolutely. There's no real substitute for reps and especially reps with the number one offense. In training the nature of training camp is you get reps no matter what depth you are on the depth chart but being with the number one office will be a major benefit to my development."
On what more he'll try to do in this training camp as compared to last year:
"I think the expectation for myself this year is to create an environment where when I'm in the game there is not a decreased expectation for our offensive production. So when Robert [Griffin III] is out and I have to go in, the offense, coaching staff, and my teammates still expect our offense to be as explosive as we were when Robert was in. That's certainly a lofty goal for me but that's where I need to be as a backup quarterback is for there to be no drop-off."
On what he learned from his experience in the playoffs:
"There's no substitute for experience, so the fact that we were able to win a division last year and be in the playoffs. We've all had these experiences before. I've been able to start a game and play an entire game. It gives me that much more confidence and I think it gives my team that much more confidence when we face those challenges coming this season."
On the best non-football related thing he did this offseason:
"My family and friends get on me because they say I don't treat myself to fun stuff. I went out and visited my grandparents in Iowa. They live on a lake and I was just able to read a book and just sit on the dock for a few days. I think that was about as much as I treated myself."
On if he went out in Richmond last night:
"No, I got in and just got my room settled and made sure I got some sleep. We have a long three weeks ahead of us."
On writing his own book this offseason:
"You know, it was the opportunity to have a positive impact on young people. As a professional athlete you have a platform that can be used for the good or for the bad as you see with several players who are in the headlines for negative reasons. Whatever you do, good or bad, it's going to be publicized and I wanted to take the opportunity while I still have that platform to make a difference."
On what percentage he thinks Griffin III is right now:
"If he's cleared, I would assume that that means he is close to 100 percent. He is looking very good. I know that he's worked his tail off to get to where he is and that's a testament to him and his work ethic so I think he's pretty close and ready to go. It's just a matter of not pushing anything."
On if he was excited and expected to get most of the preseason snaps:
"It will be good development for me and certainly when the time comes and I have to at some point possibly play in the regular season having had all of this practice time will help me and make me more confident when I step in which is probably not the case last year. It was a much more challenging role to have been through not having that many reps."
On his experience against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14:
"There's two ways I look at it. It certainly shows that I can do it and I can belong but I think it also shows that you're only as good as your last performance and that if I go out there in the preseason or the regular season, whenever it may be, and lay an egg and don't play like I did last year, last year's will be forgotten. I'm only as good as my last performance and I realize that."
On if there is competition between him and Griffin III now that he has more reps:
"No I don't think so. I think when you draft a guy as high up as Robert [Griffin III], and you trade up to get him, and you pay him what you pay him and he's the offensive rookie of the year in the NFL, no, there's no competition. This is about Robert's team and I have an opportunity when he is currently out to develop myself as a quarterback, to hopefully help this team while he's gone and make sure that when he comes back, in the meantime, we didn't lose anything offensively. But certainly this is Robert's team and it's my job as a backup to just be a really good insurance policy."
On what is the best part of training camp:
"Not much more you could ask for. The best part is the fan experience that we get to have during training camp."
On the team-bonding element of training camp:
"Being in a hotel room and being in close proximity with all of your teammates and spending that much time together gives you a chance to really grow together. I think that when it gets to 3rd-and-11 and you're in the stadium in a tight huddle together, and you look at guys in the eyes across the huddle, you know that they're going to have your back."
On if it could be awkward to start all preseason and then yield to Robert Griffin III as the starter for the regular season:
"I don't think so. I think that everyone knows, including myself, that this is Robert's team and it's my job that anytime Robert is not able to play that there is not a drop-off offensively from Robert to myself. That's a lot to ask of myself but it's certainly the expectation and I need to work very hard to make sure that that happens but when Robert's ready this is his team and like I said earlier it's my job tobe a very good insurance policy."
On his emphasis of 'insurance policy':
"Yeah, I mean, it's the truth. It's the truth. I mean, I'm a backup and I still get opportunities so I have to play well when I get them."
On playing in front of a larger part of the Redskins' fan base:
"The NFL boils down to the fan base. Without the fans we don't have a league, we don't have a salary. So we're very thankful for these fans and to be able to relocate training camp to reach a new fan base is very important. I think that having a new fan base and a larger fan base will help us as players when it comes to preseason and regular games to be used to the expectations, the pressure and the fans' eyeballs on us."
On how going away for training camp has helped:
"I think the reason you see coaches every year move players during training camp into hotels or into dorms, is to build chemistry. The hope is that when you get your backs against the wall in an away stadium in October or November, and you have a lot on the line because of that extra time you spent together in training camp you'll be that much better prepared to have success."
On the quarterback competition:
"Having played at Michigan State and being in quarterback competitions there, and having done it a long time, I understand what my role is and I'm going to do it the best that I can."
On how being a productive starter at Michigan State helped him get to this point:
"There's no doubt that playing at a Big-10 school and having a chance to start for three years , playing a lot of games, being in quarterback competitions there and being a backup at one time—you know, I've been through all of those things and it definitely helps. Especially since the offense I played in at Michigan State was a pro-style offense it helped me to have success as a rookie in the NFL and I'm excited to hopefully take a step forward from Year 1 to Year 2."