Rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins said Tuesday he was relatively pleased with his performance in his NFL preseason debut last week in Buffalo.
“I thought it was a good outing,” Cousins said Tuesday. “I thought that there were some things I did well, some things I want to improve upon. But that’s to be expected in the first game.”
Cousins completed nine of 22 passes for 74 yards and threw an interception in the Redskins’ 7-6 win over the Bills. He took over late in the second quarter after rookie starter Robert Griffin III was followed by veteran backup Rex Grossman.
Cousins said he’ll seek across-the-board improvements in the team’s remaining three preseason games, beginning Saturday night at Chicago.
“I think it’s a little bit of everything,” he said. “There are some details on certain plays, certain footwork that I want to emphasize, being perfect in that. I think there’s overall understanding of situations, the play clock, formations, getting guys lined up properly. There’s so much that encompasses being a great quarterback and that goes into being a successful quarterback, it’s hard to say, ‘If I can just get this one thing down, I’ll have it all together.’ Right now as a rookie, it’s many things.”
Cousins took one snap with the starting offense during Monday’s practice, and also had quite a bit of work with the second-string offense. Coach Mike Shanahan called that the team’s normal practice field rotation for Cousins and Grossman.
It would seem to be difficult for Cousins, a fourth-round draft pick in April, to overtake Grossman for the job as the primary backup to Griffin. It seems unlikely that the Redskins would have a rookie quarterback as the top backup to another rookie. But Cousins said he simply plans to learn as much as he can, play as well as possible and then see where he stands.
“My understanding is they’ll evaluate or come to a decision at the end of the preseason,” Cousins said. “Until then, I’m just taking advantage of every opportunity I get. I know that the other quarterbacks are doing the same. I think what’s been good about my situation is the amount of reps I’ve been able to get, the amount of time I expect to get in these preseason games and I’ve already gotten. I think whether I’m the second string, third string or wherever I fall, those reps are invaluable.”
Grossman completed only two of 10 passes for 22 yards in Buffalo.
Cousins said he hasn’t yet been told by the coaching staff exactly how much he’ll play Saturday.
“All I’ve been told is it still should be a fair amount of time,” Cousins said. “No specifics. I know Robert is expected to play more. I would still expect to see some action in the second half.”
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