Kirk Cousins said he faced a harsh reality during the 2014 season.
The third-year quarterback -- who came into the season as the backup – entered the Redskins' Week 2 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in relief of Robert Griffin III after he went down with a dislocated ankle.
A countdown of the Top 10 images of Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins during the 2014 season.
Cousins would connect on 22 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns that day, and then followed it up with a career-high 427 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles.
But, starting with a four-interception day against the New York Giants Week 4, Cousins would struggle in the coming weeks, eventually seeing himself sidelined at halftime of the Redskins' Week 7 victory over the Tennessee Titans. He especially struggled during the fourth quarter during that stretch, as he would connect on less than 60 percent of his passes with five interceptions in the final frame.
After being pulled from the Titans game, Cousins would not appear in another game for the rest of the season.
He told 92.1 FM out of Lansing, Mich., last week that "you can always learn from failure, and you can always to find ways to improve."
"When you fail like that, it hits you right in the face and you have no choice but to get better and to learn from it," he said. "So I just feel a sense of urgency to get back to work, to learn from my mistakes and to do all I can to make sure that hopefully something like that never happens again and I never allow myself to play at a low level.
Instead, Cousins said he wants "to be able to come back and whether it's practices or the preseason or whatever it may be, just be playing at a high level every chance I get."
While Cousins will once again play the role of backup to Griffin III -- as head coach Jay Gruden recently announced the former AP Rookie of the Year as the "No. 1 guy" going into the 2015 season -- the Michigan State product said he's excited to get back on track and do whatever it takes to help the Redskins reach the playoffs once again.
"When I was a rookie, we had a really good season, won the division and made the playoffs, and just haven't had that success in 2013, 2014," he said. "But we know what it takes. We've been there before. I think the goal in '15 is to get back there and be in the hunt to win the division and that's going to be the goal every single year."