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Kirk Cousins Happy To Keep Continuity With Matt Cavanaugh


Since the end of the season, the Redskins have changed some of their offensive coaching staff, and quarterback Kirk Cousins likes the decisions that have been made.

When head coach Jay Gruden decided to promote Matt Cavanaugh from quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, his primary reason centered on keeping continuity within the Redskins offense.

Even while quarterback Kirk Cousins remains uncertain about his future with the Redskins, he explained Friday between Pro Bowl practices in Orlando, Fla., that Cavanaugh's promotion was a helpful and practical move, not just for himself, but for the entire organization.

"I love the fact that we're not starting over," Cousins said. "We've learned a certain way of doing things for a couple of years now and with Coach Cav as the coordinator, we'll be able to keep that rolling, as opposed to having to start all over with a brand new system and terminology and philosophy."

Certainly working under Cavanaugh directly for the past two years also brings another level of comfortability for Cousins, who, in two years as the team's starting quarterback, has progressed and developed at a record-breaking rate.

Cousins appreciates Cavanaugh's history and experience in the league – playing for 13 seasons and coaching for even longer – and knows he'll continue to receive the same kind of mentoring from the past two years.

"When he came in in 2015 he helped right away with defining some of the reads and what I would be thinking about and what I would be looking at when I'm actually under center and dropping back," Cousins said. "So, I think he's helped clarify some of the gray area in our offense.

"What I love about him is he's been around the block," Cousins added. "He's been to Super Bowls as a player and as a coach. He's won three of them. He's played with Hall of Famer, he's coached Hall of Famers, he knows what it looks like if it's being done right and I think he does a good job working with not just me but all the quarterbacks."

Taking Cavanaugh's previous role will be Kevin O'Connell, who spent last year with the 49ers on special projects, and was quarterbacks coach for the Browns in 2015. O'Connell backed up Tom Brady for a season after being drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 2008 NFL Draft out of San Diego State, and would end up playing for five different teams.

Cousins said he spoke with O'Connell over the phone last week and hit it off with him right away.

"I've heard good things from everybody who knows him and he's an up and coming coach in the league and excited to work with him," Cousins said. "He's played alongside some Hall of Fame quarterbacks, he's now been coaching around in some different spots and seen it done in some different ways. I think he'll be able to add some unique perspective and be a great personality for us to work with."

The reason for these offensive changes were predicated on offensive coordinator Sean McVay's departure to become head coach for the Los Angeles Rams a couple of weeks ago.

McVay took over theteam's  play-calling for the last two years, something Gruden will now take back control of and sometimes delegate to Cavanaugh and offensive line coach Bill Callahan. Cousins hopes nothing but the best for his former coach.

"I'm thrilled for him and what a great opportunity," Cousins said. "He deserves it and works so hard. It's a competitive position with only 32 guys in the world who get that spot. Just thrilled that he is able to be there and be a head coach, build a staff, and develop a team around the culture that he wants to build."

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