Boswell on Cousins: ‘I don’t see anything terribly special there yet’

Kirk Cousins, Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan, right, talks with Kirk Cousins before the Week 16 game against the Cowboys. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

During Thomas Boswell’s weekly 11 a.m. chat, the columnist gave this reply to an opening question about Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins:

How much of Cousins’ interception problems is down to a lack of timing? He keeps throwing behind open receivers but are they “bad” throws or throws where he simply doesn’t know exactly where they’ll be?

Cousins says the problem is timing and that with more reps and familiarity with receivers it should diminish. Said that the INT to Moss should have been a TD to Moss.

Hope that’s so. But you have to go on current evidence. It’s a pattern.

I just looked up all the NFL QB stats for everybody with 100 or more attempots this year. Really ugly in all areas but QB rating — though an imperfect stat —  is telling because if you are AWFUL in that number you certainly are not good. Keep in mind that this has been as good a season to be as passer as any in history. Maybe the best.

Cousins is the fifth worst passer out of 42 on the list with a 70.7 QB rating. That’s terrible. More INTs than TD’s — 4-5, only 58.5 percent complete.

Griffin is almost as bad: 28th of 42 at 82.2.

For reference, there are SEVEN QBs over 100, and 21 — in a 32 team league — over 86.0.

From the RGIII-Cousins draft class, here are some: Russell Wilson is 101.1, Kaepernick 88.8, Luck 86.0, Tannehill 84.6.

So far, and I watched the tape of the Dallas game again, Cousins looks like an decent “system quarterback” who can be a good back up or — maybe, and I’m not even sure of this the way QBs are lighting up everybody — a tail-end starter for somebody. Of course that can change. But the reason for starting him was, supposedly, to get a read on him.

Cousins has gotten to start against two terrible defenses. The Cowboys were 32nd and last in yards allowed. The Falcon game was inside in a Dome and yesterday was warm with a slight drizzle that didn’t seem to bother Romo’s throws. Cousins goes through reads and throws a lot of check downs. But I’ll have to be honest, I don’t see anything terribly special there yet. The Shanahans may like him because he’s a “blank slate” on whom they can write what they want.

So far, the writing says 70.7 this year and a better QB rating of 80.3 for his career. Both years combined he’s 61.7%, 7.5 yd/att, 95 for 154 and 8 TDs, 8 INTS and 3 fumbles.

IOW, Cousins is making a place for himself in the league. He can play some. But he is not a threat for a starting QB job based on his limited, but not tiny data sample. And I doubt he’d bring more than a seconds-round pick, if you’re lucky, in trade. But he was a GOOD fourth-round pick. But you can see why he went No. 101 overall. That’s 100 in front of him.

The question is the question you gave: How much does he improve? This is the end of his second year, not his rookie year. But he’s only had three starts. Be interesting to see him against Awful Eli who’s having a nightmare year and has an even lower QB rating than any Redskin — 69.8.

You can see the rest of Boswell’s Q&A here, and maybe get in a question before it’s too late — he tends to take questions well into the afternoon.

Have a Redskins question? E-mail Mike Jones at mike.jones@washpost.com with the subject line “Mailbag question” for him to answer it in The Mailbag on Tuesdays.

What’s ahead:

●  Mike Shanahan speaks with reporters Monday at 3 p.m.; The season finale is in New York at 1 p.m. against the Giants.

More from The Post:

Wise: Whether coach stays or goes, something must change

D.C. Sports Bog: FedEx Grass, still bad | Fletcher’s last speech | More

Takeaway: Cousins takes a step in the wrong direction

Boswell: One-point loss to Cowboys is another case of harsh reality

Redskins lose heartbreaker | Another letdown for the defense

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