Entering his third season as the Washington Redskins' full-time starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins took an early step ahead last month by organizing a throwing session with some of his teammates.
While the Washington Redskins' offseason workouts don't officially begin until next Monday, quarterback Kirk Cousins wanted to get a jumpstart on building rapport with new receivers and rekindling chemistry with some familiar faces.
So last month, Cousins organized a throwing session with the likes of wide receivers Josh Doctson, Terrelle Pryor Sr. and Jamison Crowder under the direction of former NFL head coach Jon Gruden.
"We had a great time down with Jon Gruden in Tampa, getting to know Terrelle Pryor, Josh Doctson was there, good getting him back, Jordan Reed and Jamison Crowder had some very productive work," Cousins said Tuesday on ESPN. "I think we have a lot of weapons and a lot to be excited about. Even though we lost some talented players, I am excited about the new players we have and the chance we are going to have in the passing game this fall. There is a lot to be excited about as the quarterback of the Washington Redskins."
The work that he put in was an indication that Cousins remains confident that he'll be in Washington's starting lineup this fall despite outside rumors that have dangled a potential move for the Michigan State product.
"I am not expecting anything to happen," Cousins said. "I am looking forward to getting back to work with my teammates."
Despite Cousins receiving the exclusive franchise tag from the Redskins in February, he'll be leading an offensive unit that experienced some changes during the offseason.
Offensive coordinator Sean McVay was hired as head coach of the Los Angeles Rams while 1,000-yard wide receivers Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson agreed to new contract terms with the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Take a look at the top photos of Kirk Cousins from the 2016 season.
It is the first time in history that a team has had two 1,000-yard receivers both depart in free agency.
By having a private session with some of the new targets, though, it allowed Cousins time to know what "makes them tick."
"How they run a comeback route, how they run a basic, how I want those routes run, a snap count, the terminology, the formations we use, the motions, the shifts, what our weekly preparations look like in terms of our pre practice drills and post practice drills," Cousins said of the session.
"I want these guys to get to know our culture and understand how we work as Redskins and the way we go about our business to make sure they adapt well," Cousins added. "It's a process and that's what OTAs and minicamp are all about. I want to make sure we are a well-oiled machine come Week 1."
It is often said that a great quarterback is essentially an extension of the coaching staff, and the leadership Cousins showed last month – to organize workouts prior to everyone's return to the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va. – should help the Redskins get the 2017 season off on the right.
"It's not perfect yet but I think being the third year in the system he will feel a lot more comfortable in that role," said Redskins head coach Jay Gruden last month in reference to the workouts. "I hope he does because we can't see everything out there on the field all the time and it's good to have the corrections come from not just the coaches all the time."