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Quotes: Kirk Cousins (9.23.14)

Quarterback Kirk Cousins

On his thoughts of last week's game after reviewing film:

"I thought we did a lot of good things. I liked that we put up a lot of points, put up a lot of yards, made a lot of plays, didn't take any sacks. At the same time, you don't like the turnover, you don't like how we finished in crunch time, how I finished in crunch time. But, we'll learn from it and get better. The key is when you go through those experiences is to try to make sure when you get in situations in the future like that, you don't let them happen again."

On if the Eagles' defensive front did anything specific to make him uncomfortable:

"No, I don't think so. I think any time you move the ball as much as we did and make as many big plays as we did, I don't think they made us too uncomfortable. But, certainly there were a couple plays here and there where if you could have them back, you wish you could do them over again."

On what he learned in crunch time:

"I think more than anything it just takes good preparation, good attention to detail and just having a good understanding of where guys are going to be and where you need to be and the timing of plays. Like I said, I haven't gone through that experience now. Now I've been there before and get a better understanding of plays, coverages, protections, fronts, pocket movements – all the stuff that makes up a great quarterback."

On if one of his incompletions on the final drive was most frustrating:

"I think all three just because all three of them probably could have put us in field goal range and probably would have been able to move the chains. All three in different ways frustrate you and make you say, 'Ah, I missed it.' The key now going forward is to learn from it, prepare very hard, hammer the details so that when you get into those situations again, you get the result you want."

On if it is helpful to have played the New York Giants previously:

"I think it gives us confidence, gives me good experience that is very valuable. I keep going back to the experience I gained this past week and how it'll help me going forward, having played the last three games last year is a very similar theme. The experience is going to help. Is it going to make all the difference? I don't know. It definitely will give me confidence, and hopefully it can help us get a win."

On if any particular part of the current offense is most comfortable to him:

"Yeah, I think part of a comfort zone or what makes you at ease is if you've done it before. You've been there. It's familiar. The fact that there was a lot of carryover in our run game and in our pass game from the last system to this system right off the bat gives us a familiarity and a comfort level with what Jay [Gruden] wants. Now, as I said through training camp, the changes that Jay has made have I think been for the better. They've been good changes. So while I may have to do something a little differently or make an adjustment, you can see why it's a good adjustment – it's going to make us better. So, I'm still picking up every week learning what he wants, and that'll continue as long as I play for him. But, the longer we work together, the better we're going to get, and the more we're going to find ourselves on the same page."

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On particular adjustments made by Head Coach Jay Gruden:

"I think when you look at protections, I think he has some good ideas with protections and being able to pick up different pressures. And [you] always give yourself a chance then to get the first down or get the big play."

On if the current scheme affords more options on third-and-short:

"I understand your point there, Chris. I'd say that it's only been three weeks, so it's not a lot of body of work to be able to say if we are more variable on third down and short than we were in the past. I think that Jay is an outstanding play-caller and he does a really good job of keeping defenses on their toes and always giving me as a quarterback and us as an offense a chance to be successful. Hopefully that is going to show itself in having a lot of variety on third-and-short, but at the same time a lot of the teams who are very vanilla on third down, hey, if you can just line up and everyone knows where it is going and still get the first down, those are usually the best teams. It is when you have to get all creative and wacky on third down that you're probably saying that you don't have the personnel to move the chains. So being vanilla isn't the worst thing as long as you are moving the chains."

On his preparation and how it changes on a short week:

"I have always said, I can't run by them, I can't throw it through them, so I have got to know where they are going to be and the only way I can do that is through good preparation. You know, it's worked for me to this point and I need to keep doing it and I can't get complacent as I get more and more familiar. But, in a short week, that is the challenge, especially at the quarterback position. There is a lot we have to do in only a few days and you want to make sure you get your rest and you're well-rested come Thursday night. It's all about time management going back to when I was a college student – they would tell you about being a good manager of your time. You still feel that way now in the pros. You've got to manage your time well and make sure that every second you're in there watching film or drawing plays or talking with coaches you're not wasting time but you are making good use of it leading up to Thursday night."

On Thursday night games:

"It's a great opportunity - I will answer your second question first. It is a great opportunity to be in the national spotlight and try to show this entire league what the Washington Redskins are about. So hopefully we can put on a good show and get a win. As far as my opinion on a Thursday night game, this is the first time I have actually had to play then turn around and make that short week happen, so I'm new at this. But when you didn't take any real big hits on Sunday, selfishly, physically I don't feel terrible. I am not the right guy to ask because I am not in a position that is getting banged every snap. But it is tough on your body and something you don't want have to do week in and week out. The benefit, the flip side of it if you want to look at the positives is that when the game is over Thursday night we do get a couple extra days to catch up and rest and recover leading into out next game, so there is a tradeoff there."

On if he will start to get a comfort level as the leader of this team:

"That's a great question. It is a tough dynamic to fully answer. I think that as a quarterback, if there is any doubt in the other 10 guys in the huddle looking at me that 'Can this guy get it done for us? Can he move the ball?' then I have already failed. So when I say that this is Robert's team, I do not mean that I can't step in and have an authority and make sure we move the football. But I won't change my statement that this is Robert's team, I still stand by that. I think that he was drafted high for a reason. He's had success here, he's done a lot of good things and he has done nothing to have that be any different. So this is his team and it's my job as a backup on this team to hopefully when he comes back, give him a team with a good record and put him in a good spot to have success down the stretch. By no means does that say that I can't go in there as a backup and hopefully get the job done."

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