Redskins’ Kirk Cousins on the difference between 3-13 and 13-3


(Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Having done a decent amount of TV and radio at this point in my career, I feel comfortable saying that everyone who does a decent amount of TV and radio will eventually say something kind of silly.

I think Kirk Cousins, in general, is honest and searching and enlightening in his media appearances. But during his interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday — in which he mostly discussed his own career and his own uncertain future — Cousins was also asked what went wrong during the Redskins’ 2013 campaign. And he probably wouldn’t mind getting a second crack at that one.

“It is kind of perplexing when you look at the start of the season, how high the expectations were coming off a great year in 2012, and it didn’t go the way we wanted it to,” said Cousins, who was appearing on the “SiriusXM Blitz.” “But you know, it’s the NFL. When you look at week to week, the margin for error is so small. And you take one, two plays, that makes a difference in almost every game. So the difference between going 3-13 and 13-3, it isn’t that much. And we won a lot of close games down the stretch in 2012 to get into the playoffs, and we lost a lot of close games in 2013 that kept us away from getting into the playoffs. So I think it’s those inches that make the difference, and we’ve got to find ways to get those inches to fall our way in the next upcoming season.”

I mean, he’s not wrong about a few plays deciding almost every NFL game. But the Redskins were outscored by 144 points in 2013. That was the third-worst mark in the league. Only four teams were outscored by more than 101 points last season; none of those four teams won more than four games. Washington just wasn’t a particularly good football team in 2013, which one of the hosts sort of hinted at.

“Kirk, I’ve got to tell you, that’s an interesting way to put it,” the host (I believe it was Rich Gannon) said. “I’ve heard there’s not a lot of difference between 10-6 and 6-10, but I’ve never heard 13-3 and 3-13.”

“You know, if you look at the Broncos and you look at what we did, there probably was a bigger difference than what I just described,” Cousins admitted, while laughing. “But you guys get my point.”

Cousins was also asked if it was wise for Robert Griffin III to have started the season opener, or whether it would have made more sense for Cousins to run the operation until Griffin was closer to full health.

“You know, I think that’s a fair question,” Cousins replied. “I just don’t think it’s for me to say whether or not that should have been the case. You know, it’s not my job to make that decision; I don’t get paid enough to make those decisions. And until I do, I just don’t think it’s for me to say. I’d love to play, I’d love to help this team. I enjoy having a more prominent role on a team, where I can feel like I’m making a big difference for this organization. But I think it was a situation that was called for to play Robert, and we did the best we could in that situation. But like you said, hindsight’s 20-20, and there’s a lot of second-guessing. And that’s part of playing in this league, you get a lot of that. But it’s just really not for me to say. But certainly if any opportunities come my way, I want to be ready and make the most of them.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg | February 13