Quarterback Kirk Cousins
On if he brought his conversion van to training camp:
"The conversion van didn't make it down because I left it at Redskins Park for the summer and I went to turn it back on and the battery was dead. I didn't even get a start at all. I called AAA but they were going to take too long, so I just headed down here in my pickup truck. The van will be waiting for me when I get back. Hopefully my wife will be able to replace the battery while I'm gone."
On if the franchise tag changes external expectations:
"I don't really know what's going on the outside, but I know that inside the building I have always been expected to play at a high level and if I didn't then I wouldn't be in this league or on this team. So I think within the team and the organization, the expectations have always been and always will be the same. On the outside, I can't really comment on what is being said or not said because I'm in ignorance."
On playing on the franchise tag:
"I was given a great opportunity last season – it's not just like I took it. I had a great opportunity; I was put in a spot to succeed with great coaches and great teammates. Fortunately we had a great year, but I think the franchise tag says a lot. They didn't have to tag me. No one forced them to do that; they chose to do that of their own accord. In this league it's one year at a time – whether you're on a long-term deal, one-year deal or two-year deal. I mean, I had a four-year deal as a rookie but it didn't feel like a four-year deal, it felt like a one-day deal every single day I was here. So I don't think things have changed a whole lot in that regard. I have got to go out there and prove myself each and every game of every season. When you do that, I think the rest will take care of itself."
On entering camp as the starter and if he has a grip on the role:
"I think we're going to find out. It's still so early in the development. We're still in the first day of camp and the preseason. We'll find out as we go. Right now it's just all talk, but there's no doubt that you have more comfort when you've played and been the starter and been out there and had experiences. What we went through last year I think has helped me now having confidence going forward. You know, hopefully it translates into a great offense and a lot of production, but it's just talk right now until you go out there and prove it."
On his progression as a quarterback:
"I think it's just a constant growth process. I don't know that there were all these areas where I was deficient last year and I don't know that there were all these areas where I just feel like I've arrived. I think it's just constantly trying to go back each and every day after walkthroughs, after practice, watch the film, listen to your coaches, be critical of yourself and say, 'How can I be better and how can I more consistently help this offense move the football and score points?' I think we had a very good year last year and if we can replicate that again, I think it should be a strong season. We're always looking to get better and improve upon what we've done. That'll be the focus as long as I'm here."
On building consistency in OTAs and minicamp:
"We laid a great foundation in OTAs and minicamp. I think both the offense, defense and special teams were sharp and gave us a great chance to now go into the first week of training camp hitting the ground running and picking up right where we left off. I'm sure there will be some rust the first couple of days. It's a marathon, not a sprint; we've got a long time until September 12 against the Steelers so we'll just keep building until that day and trust that each day is a step in the right direction."
On if WR Josh Doctson's injury has been discouraging:
"I don't know that I'm discouraged. I guess I'm a little disappointed that he's not healthy but that's the way the NFL works. You look at last year, we lost Kory Lichtensteiger for much of the season, we lost Jordan Reed for a stretch, we lost Niles Paul, we lost Logan Paulsen. Guys get injured, that's a part of this game and it has to be next man up. You have to find answers no matter what. No one wants to hear the excuses about how you had injuries. No one puts an asterisk next to your record at the end of the year that you had injuries, so you have to find a way – or make one. That will always be the focus no matter who's healthy or who's not. We'll be praying for Josh to get healthy as fast as possible. We do believe he's a great talent and can help us so we're excited not just for this week or next week but for the long haul for what he can do for the Redskins."
On continuity on the coaching staff:
"It certainly helps. Any time you can be in the same place and have some familiarity I think it improves your ability to perform at a high level. But in this league, there is no doubt that there is going to be turnover and there is going to be attrition and so, again, much like injuries, nobody wants to hear the excuses. They want to see if you can get it done. Regardless of the continuity we would or wouldn't have or do or don't have, we just have got to go out there and make it work and perform. Fortunately, I think we have a lot of guys who are great people – great teammates – in this organization and having them back is going to help us."
On the death of former college teammate Mike Sadler:
"I was crushed when I heard about Mike's passing. A phenomenal person, very intelligent, brilliant, witty, funny, great teammate and a great person. He was lost too soon. He was going to be going to Stanford Law School this fall, is my understanding, and he was going to do great things after that. So it's tough to hear that, and obviously we'll be praying for his family, for the Spartan nation, and just understand that life is short and try to take advantage of every day we have."
On weighing the risks of playing football against not having a long-term contract:
"I'm OK. I'm not lying awake at night. I'm good, I feel comfortable. I got a pretty good raise this year. Last year I looking at a one-year deal making a lot less than I am making this year, so I feel fine. I'm good. I understand the risks – we all understand the risks – and we're here and we're ready to go to work. So you're not going to hear any complaints from me."
On what inspires him to be a leader:
"What inspires me to be a leader? I want to live a life – at the end of my life – that has impacted people in a positive way. A great way to do that is to be a leader. I think we all are wired to want to do that, but I do believe that God has wired me to want to impact people in a positive way everywhere I go. If you can do that, people call you a leader. We will always continue to try and do that and at the end of my life hopefully I've done a great job at that and will continue to try and get better at it."