What Kirk Cousins Can Prove to Washington Brass This Preseason

Ryan TolmichCorrespondent IIAugust 8, 2013

Kirk Cousins will use this preseason to escape the shadow of RGIII.
Kirk Cousins will use this preseason to escape the shadow of RGIII.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Redskins finally have the quarterback they've so desperately needed, Kirk Cousins that is.

Despite being down eight with a rookie under center, the Skins were able to drive down the field against the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens, score and then convert a two-point conversion on a QB option.

The next week, their young signal caller torched Cleveland for 329 yards and two touchdowns, in a performance that earned him the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week award.

The Redskins QB's stellar play has made it look like he is one for the future, as he has many in DC talking about just how good he can be.

Cousins, the fourth-round draft pick out of Michigan State, is everything the Skins have been looking for. He's a solid, young passer who can also run the ball. He is mature despite a lack of experience, as evidenced by his game-winning drive against Baltimore.

Unfortunately for Mr. Cousins, he is seemingly buried behind a guy named Robert Griffin III, last season's lighting rod that took the league by storm before suffering an ACL injury in the playoffs. 

However, with RGIII sidelined until the real games start, Cousins is now getting the chance to shine in preseason action.

Cousins has proven himself to be a capable starter, which could prove invaluable as RGIII's health this season is a major question mark for Washington.

Many players are never the same after ACL injuries, and the fact that the quick-footed Griffin went down with one must be worrisome for Redskin faithful.

It is hard to imagine Cousins ever really getting the nod over a truly healthy RGIII, as Griffin has already turned himself into an elite NFL quarterback. However, if RGIII is damaged goods, Skins fans will have nothing to worry about with Cousins under center.

With that being said, Cousins has entered this season prepared. According to a radio interview with The Huge Show, Cousins is practicing as if he's the number one guy in the nation's capital:

“It’s a wait-and-see approach,” Cousins said “Robert’s looking awfully good for only being whatever it is, six months into the injury. He’s moving around really well, and I have high expectations for him. I know he has even higher expectations for himself, and we’ll just play it as it goes. But my mindset has to be that I need to approach it like I’m gonna start Week 1. And really, I approached last season like I was gonna start Week 1, just for the simple fact that that’s the way I prepare best. So I’ve got to put the pressure on myself somehow, and I guess the best way to do that is to convince myself that I’m playing.”

However, all signs point to RGIII being healthy Week One. But what does that mean for Cousins?

Cousins is not only out to impress Washington's higher-ups, as he could potentially be playing for potential trade suitors. Cousins is seen as one of the top backup QBs in the league, and his youth is something that should be coveted by numerous teams.

"Kirk has proven when he’s had his opportunities, he’s stepped up and played extremely well,” said Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan according to CBS. “Kirk impressed us and everybody last year [with how] he did in the Cleveland game and the Baltimore game.”

Cousins has not only impressed the coaching staff. Players such as veteran linebacker London Fletcher have seen what Cousins has to offer in practice, and many are impressed with the second year QB.

“Kirk has definitely shown that he can play in the National Football League,” said Fletcher. “It started [last] preseason. He did some good things in the preseason games to where Coach [Mike] Shanahan felt good enough about making him the No. 2 guy as a rookie."

Despite being seemingly stuck in that number two spot, Cousins is embracing the opportunity given to him this preseason, while also keeping the faith entering this preseason.

"I’m not sure what God has in store, but my rookie year in Washington exceeded my expectations, and I believe that God’s doing something," said Cousins. "He has me there for a reason. And I’m just gonna keep trusting him."


Will Kirk Cousins ever get the chance to start? Can RGIII escape this season injury free? Have your say with a comment below or tweet @R_Tolmich with your ideas!