The Redskins made a moderately important move this week, placing the exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. And with team GM Scot McCloughan not at the NFL Scouting Combine — and not speaking publicly in any case — the team’s top two public voices are team president Bruce Allen and Coach Jay Gruden. The latter spoke with the media on Wednesday, and the former appeared on the team’s Redskins Nation program, where senior vice president Larry Michael asked him about the decision to deploy the tag.
“Well, obviously we’ve said for a number of months we want Kirk back with our team,” Allen said. “We think he’s really proved himself, [and] we think his future is bright. And as we told Kirk, we’re going to keep working on a long-term deal.”
This indeed echoes what Allen said in January — “the goal is to get long-term” and “Kirk’s our quarterback” and “I’m sure we’ll come to an agreement,” he said then, in various interviews. And Allen was again unperturbed about things such as the summer end date for reaching a deal.
“That’s a deadline more than anything,” Allen said. “There’s no reason we can’t discuss the future today, and that’s what we’re doing. … I think Coach Gruden and the staff have a great relationship on the field with Kirk, and I think they have it off the field, too, by the way. But I think he’s getting more and more comfortable in what we’re trying to accomplish on offense … and we’re looking forward to the future.”
Turns out Gruden — who was bullish about signing Cousins in his Wednesday remarks with reporters — also appeared on the Redskins Nation program. (They must have great bookers.) And he stressed the importance of a coach being in sync with his quarterback.
“In my opinion it’s the only chance you have to succeed on offense,” he said. “The quarterback and coach have to be intertwined. They have to know exactly what each other’s thinking and they have to have a lot of input in the game-plan together [and] know what each other’s thinking for it to be successful. And Kirk is getting closer to my line of thinking, and we like where he’s going.”
Gruden said he has talked some with Cousins during the offseason, and said the quarterback is excited about the future.
“I know he likes the offense here,” Gruden said. “I know he likes the players, he loves the offensive linemen. I think he likes where we’re going, the approach that we’re taking. I think he wants to get something settled and done with so he can kind of move forward with his life. So hopefully we can get that done, and he can move forward as a Washington Redskin for a long time.”
Meantime, Allen was given an opportunity to say Cousins’s first name correctly, and suggested that those who have mocked him for saying “Kurt” instead of “Kirk” are “out of touch.”
Yes, that is a real sentence I just typed.