Now getting all of the team's first-team reps at quarterback after his breakout year in 2015, Kirk Cousins wants to take on a bigger leadership role on the offense.
Kirk Cousins wants to take ownership of a potentially powerful Washington Redskins offense, just as he did at the end of successful first season as a full-time starter in 2015.
"Just taking another step in terms of my command, confidence, I think is stuff that maybe the fans won't be able to see directly," Cousins said on "Redskins Nation Wednesday of what he wants to improve on this year. "But behind the scenes, I don't know if control is the word, but command and discernment about how the offense is run. All that experience is so valuable, as in any other profession, experience on the football field I think will really make a difference for me."
Cousins closed out the 2015 season as perhaps the hottest quarterback in the NFL, as he threw 23 touchdowns to just three interceptions in the last 10 games of the season.
The accomplishments were due, in part, by finally getting into a groove with his weapons. Understanding how receivers break out of their routes, where they prefer to have the ball and even what their overall best strengths are on the field take time.
Prior to the Redskins' Opening Day matchup with the Miami Dolphins in September, Cousins only had a handful of practices as the anointed starting quarterback.
This time around, though, he'll be getting all of the first-team reps.
"The reps are so important," Cousins said. "I've heard stories of guys, veteran quarterbacks who won't even let their backups get reps because they know how valuable they are. So the first team usually gets a majority of the reps, even in the offseason and it's so important to take as many as you can and being the No. 1 guy all offseason will really help me grow [and] build as a player before Week 1 even comes."
'A quarterback is as good as the guys around him'
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins on Wednesday was named to the NFL's 'Top 100 Players of 2016' list, checking in at No. 85.
Sure, Cousins came into his own individually as a player last season (he was recently named the No. 85 player on the NFL's "Top 100 Player of 2016" list), but the Michigan State quarterback insists all of his accomplishments weren't done alone.
From Pierre Garçon's gritty play to DeSean Jackson blowing the tops off defense and, yes, Jordan Reed's obvious contributions, Washington's offense was more than a one-man production.
"When you've got talent around you, some average quarterbacks can look pretty good, and vice versa," Cousins said. "When you're a very, very talented quarterback, if you don't have a lot of guys out there to help you, it's going to be tough to look the part. Fortunately, I'm one of those guys who has a lot at my disposal. I could start naming names, and go down the list, and we're going to be here a while, and I'm probably [going] to leave someone out."
With all those highly capable receivers around him, Cousins wants to run the offense in a similar fashion to how John Stockton used to run the court for the Utah Jazz.
"Just get them the ball, just get the assist, put the ball in their hands, and they're going to make us right," Cousins said. "And they're going to make our offense look good. Can't wait to spread it around."