The first thing to know about quarterback Kirk Cousins is that he is a voracious reader.
At least that is how Robert Klemko helps introduce readers into the mind of the Redskins starting quarterback with an insightful article on TheMMQB.com.
As the son of a preacher, and raised in an evangelical household, Cousins has plenty of books on religion and spirituality, but he also balances them with books about quarterbacks – one most recently about Tom Brady – that drives him to sharpen the mistakes of yesterday.
During his time at Michigan State he built bonds with all of his teammates in the locker room, which prepared him for the road ahead in Washington, answering questions about quarterback controversies and position battles early in his career.
"I think you do lean on past experiences no matter what situation you're in, and I had fought for a job before," Cousins said in the article. "This league is a tough league and it'll test you, and each year is a challenge. If you look at the long haul it can be pretty overwhelming."
But Cousins is also a bit of a perfectionist. He can't sleep the night after a game unless he has watched the film of his most recent performance. He obsesses over his mistakes and can acutely remember ones from games past.
As detailed in the article, Cousins keeps a list of all the mistakes he sees recurring on film inside his phone. He even recalls an interception he threw against the Browns in 2012, tossing a ball to Pierre Garcon and a defensive back undercutting the route.
"You remember the negatives because you have the mentality of, I can't allow that to happen again, so what do I need to learn from this experience so I don't repeat it?" Cousins said. "And you find yourself going back and playing it over and over to prevent it, and as a result it gets implanted much stronger than the successes."
Some may believe that Cousins, who shares his love for God, family and fellowship, is driven by a fear of failure. But as his head coach at Michigan State believes, what motivates him "is excellence."
Make sure to read the full piece here.