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Kirk Cousins Named Redskins' Starting Quarterback


Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Monday confirmed that he has named Kirk Cousins as his starting quarterback for the 2015 season.*

Kirk Cousins is getting another shot.

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden on Monday said that Cousins, the fourth-year Michigan State product, will be the team's starting quarterback for the 2015 season, beginning Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins Sept. 13 at FedExField.

"I think all three quarterbacks should be commeded for their efforts, their willingness to get better," Gruden told reporters after Monday's practice at Redskins Park. "But when it's all said and done after all the film that we've gone through, all the offseason activity, all the training camp footage, we feel that at this time, Kirk Cousins gives us the best chance to win and that's where we're going. ... It's Kirk's team."

Cousins, a fourth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, has performed well in his preseason opportunities, completing a combined 40-of-53 passes (75.5 percent) for 435 yards and two touchdowns and one interception, with another rushing touchdown to his credit, through three games.

In his first start of the preseason Saturday night against the Baltimore Ravens, Cousins led the unit on two touchdown drives, overcoming an interception on the team’s opening drive to complete 20-of-27 passes for 190 yards and a touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder. When he exited the game at halftime, the Redskins were leading 14-13.

Cousins got the start on Saturday after Robert Griffin III, who was named the team's starter at quarterback in February, was abruptly scratched from the game on Friday evening after being evaluated by independent league neurologists following a concussion suffered Aug. 20 against the Detroit Lions.

But Gruden said his announcement on Monday was made not based off Griffin III's health. He said Cousins won the job with his recent performance.

"Kirk has done an outstanding job, Robert's done some great things, no question we have total faith in all three of them," Gruden said, referring to Cousins, Griffin III and Colt McCoy. "But moving forward with all the things that we've studied over the course of training camp and OTAs, we just feel like Kirk has earned the right to be the starting quarterback for 2015."

Cousins' start against the Dolphins represents his second opportunity to be the No. 1 quarterback under Gruden in the past two seasons. Last season, Cousins replaced an injured Griffin III in the first quarter of their Week 2 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and ended up starting the next five games, completing 126-of-204 passes for 1,710 yards with 10 touchdowns to nine interceptions.

But Cousins, who was named the FedEx Air Player of the Week after completing 30-of-48 passes for 427 yards and three touchdowns Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles, was eventually replaced by McCoy after battling through some turnover issues late in games.

Gruden said last week Cousins has worked hard during the offseason and in training camp to improve upon those turnover issues with new quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh.

"He's improved on the turnover issue very much so through OTAs and training camp and preseason games," Gruden said of Cousins. "We're impressed with the progress that Kirk has made very much. He's done a great job."


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