On Wednesday, July 24, 2013, Redskins QB Kirk Cousins addressed the media following practice at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va.
* On his reaction to being named starter:
"I just need to get ready to go, need to have a good week of preparation, and need to just continue doing what I've been doing and let things take care of themselves."
On how things played out with this decision:
"Yeah, it wasn't anything dramatic. I was just told by the coaches that I'd be going this week, and if that changes anything then there's something wrong with me because all of these weeks my preparation should be as if I'm the starter. Certainly in human nature you're going to have a heightened sense of urgency now that you know, but it shouldn't change anything that I'm doing this week to get ready."
On who told him he would be named starter:
"[Offensive Coordinator] Kyle [Shanahan] was the first one to tell me, but that was more just because of convenience and who I bumped into when I got here."
On his feelings about the decision to name him as the starter:
"It is what it is. I'm going to submit to the authorities above me and do what I'm coached to do and try to help this team win, whether as a starter or a backup or whatever role I'm asked to take on. My role this week is to be the starting quarterback and I'm going to prepare as hard as I can to have success in that role."
On how tough it is for him to step into a starting role in this situation:
"Certainly different circumstances then when I got my first start last year against Cleveland and these are not the circumstances you necessarily want to be in when you start the season, but – good or bad – I've got to be ready to go. I can't control a lot of things going on but I can control my preparation and I can control how I lead this team this weekend, so I'm going to do that."
On how quarterback Robert Griffin III took the news and what their relationship is like:
"Robert is a competitor and I think it is tough for him to have to sit down because what makes him great is that he wants to be out there. That's one of the things that I admire about Robert and I've learned a lot from him in my role as a backup is that he doesn't back down to a challenge. He never flinched as a rookie, which I was amazed at that going into the Superdome against New Orleans Week1, he didn't seem nervous. He didn't seem like he was afraid in any way, and it showed in his play, and I have admired that and taken that from him and tried to apply it to my game, that I shouldn't flinch either. He wants to be out there but I think he's handling it with a lot of maturity and he's still out there throwing right now because he wants to get better."
On his mindset for Sunday:
"Well, this is not my first time facing adversity. To get to this point – my second year in the NFL – has not been an easy path. It's been the complete opposite. It's been a difficult road, a lot of setbacks, a lot of difficult situations, a lot of challenges, a lot of things that haven't gone my way. So, to start this game in Atlanta on Sunday is not the first time that I've had to face something that is a little unique. It's just one more time where you've got to dig deep, you've got to work hard, you've got to be tough, you've got to be mentally and physically tough and get the job done and help lead others to hopefully do the same."
On the importance of being on the same page with his coaches:
"I want to be on the same page with the coaches. I want to be able to communicate openly with them, from myself to them and then, likewise, from them to me, and try to be on the same page as much as possible. The better I can communicate with them this week, I think the better I'll be able to play on Sunday."
On if he thinks of this as his chance to show what he can do as a starting quarterback:
"I think it is a great opportunity to show what I'm capable of, but football is a team game, and I'm only as good as the guys around me. I know these guys are going to give everything they have to help me, and I'm going to do the same for them, but this is about the Washington Redskins and doing the best I can this Sunday to get a win against the Falcons."
On if he feels he is auditioning for a job here or elsewhere:
"I feel like every time I get a rep in practice I'm auditioning. I've never felt safe. I've never felt comfortable, even after a good OTA and mini-camp my rookie year, after a good training camp, a good first season. I've never felt comfortable so I feel I'm always trying to prove myself and I've felt that way for a long time in my football career, going back to college and high school. Whether it's here or somewhere else where I'm auditioning, that feeling of challenging yourself, being tough on yourself and putting pressure on yourself, I don't think that ever goes away regardless of the circumstances you're under."
On the circumstances that have led to him being named starter:
"I can't control those circumstances so I'm not going to waste time or energy worrying about them or wishing they were different. It's wasted energy, and I've got to devote all the energy I can to beating the Falcons. I need to rise to the occasion, rise to the challenge, dig deep, and hopefully have a good performance on Sunday no matter what the circumstances are."
On if he has spoken with Griffin III about the opportunity:
"His demeanor today has been positive, in the sense that he's taking the high road. I think that at the same time it's tough for him, so I don't want to come across like he doesn't care that he's sitting. It matters to him, but he's also going to take the high road and stay positive too, so he's been positive in meetings and affirming of me and my opportunity. I feel like our relationship has always been strong and I think it's gotten stronger since we've gotten to know each other more over the last couple of years."
On if he thinks he was named starter because he is the best quarterback for the team at this point:
"I don't know. I think that, and I've said it since I've been here and I'll say it again, I do believe that Robert is the franchise quarterback here in Washington. He was drafted No. 2 overall. A lot of picks were traded to get him. Common sense would say that this is his team, and I've never wanted to take that away from him or do anything to undermine his role. And I'll say it again even as I start this week, I believe that, at the end of the day, this is Robert's team going forward into next season. The reason they are resting Robert is because this is Robert's team and he is the franchise quarterback. You wouldn't rest him if that wasn't the case. My job is to help this team get a win against Atlanta and then the last two weeks after that, but again, I'm going to continue to try to excel in my role as the backup quarterback to Robert."
On if he feels the need as the leader of the offense to tell the team to avoid distractions and focus on Atlanta:
"The concept of ignoring the noise and focusing on the task at hand is not new to NFL football players. What that noise is may change from week to week or from year to year, but to get to this level, to play at the high level of college football we've all played in, you've dealt with this before. So to tell the team, 'Hey, we need to focus in,' that's just preaching to the choir. We all know we have to do that. Sure enough, we have to do that this week. We've got to dig deep, we've got to get the job done, and there's no excuses being made for the current circumstances."
On if he was told he will start the next three weeks or if it is game to game:**
"Their literal wording was not 'game to game,' it wasn't 'three weeks.' They told me I'm going to be starting against Atlanta, and honestly that's enough for me to be worrying about right now. When the plane touches down back from Atlanta, I'll start thinking about the following week."