You might be concerned about Terrelle Pryor Sr., after his seven preseason targets led to two preseason catches. Many fans seem concerned. Sports-radio hosts on both local stations have expressed concern. Kirk Cousins is not concerned.
“Every single one of those incompletions you could argue either was a really tight play that was gonna be tough regardless — and if it was a catch it was gonna be a really good catch — or the ball wasn’t thrown exactly on his face mask,” Cousins said during his weekly appearance on 106.7 the Fan. “So I could take just as much ownership of any of those incompletions. I’m always looking at how can I throw that ball a little better, and frankly on all those, I think he is pretty open. The ball could have, should have been thrown on his face mask.”
“So there are ways we can continue to be better and build that, but again, it’s still early in the process,” Cousins said. “We haven’t had a regular season game yet, and so I think it’s going to be constantly evolving with him, and we’re going to get better and better as the year goes on.”
Cousins also pointed out that Pryor converted a third-and-long in traffic on Sunday, and noted the Redskins still haven’t tried to go over the top with their new receiver.
“We haven’t taken it down the field and tried to really light it up, and certainly that’s one of his elite traits,” the quarterback said. “So some of it hasn’t been put on display, what he can do.”
A fan later asked Cousins whether he has to adjust to having taller receivers in the 6-foot-4 Pryor and 6-2 Josh Doctson, which led to another bout of praise.
“Yeah, I would say it’s something we’ve talked about all offseason, how there should be an inherent advantage there,” Cousins said. “We can throw guys the ball that appear to be covered and they can still potentially make the play just because of their size. We’re still learning that a little bit, but you want separation. Whether you’re big or small you want a guy to separate and you’re going to first say ‘Hey, win on the route and create separation.’ And then if it doesn’t happen, then yeah, you can make this right and still make the play.”
“But that [separation is] what we really want first and foremost,” Cousins went on. “And you know, we talked about Terrelle Pryor’s speed: I do think he can separate down the field. I mean, if we give him the chances and put it out there for him, he’ll go get it. Many times in practice, if he’s even with the defensive back, he’s leaving. In other words, by the time I let it go and it appears like it’s a tight throw, by the time it gets to him he’s five or six yards separated from the defender. So that’s some of that trust we’ve got to build and develop through practice, and I’m excited to just start giving him opportunities here in games.”
Pryor was also utterly unfazed by the preseason numbers, saying Sunday that the offense can do better and “you’ve just got to look at the positives.”
“Like today’s drop — and we had four or five other drops — stuff like that happens,” he said. “It is what it is. You put it behind you, you don’t let it dwell on you. Playing receiver, playing quarterback, whatever it is, you’ve got to get to the next play, and that’s what it is and that’s what we have to do. We’ll just have to look at the positives and just find a way to move forward to play at Philadelphia and try to get it rolling right away.”
Cousins, meanwhile, made the very worthwhile point that we’re not supposed to be getting agitated about fake games.
“I think two of our better preseasons as a team, since I’ve been here, came in years when we went 3-13 and 4-12,” he said, referring to preseasons when the team went a combined 7-1. “So I don’t take a whole lot of stock in the preseason and how sharp we are, although at the same time, it is football, you are going against real NFL defenses, and you want to look as good as you can.”
“So if anything, we realize hey, we’ve got a long ways to go, we’re a work in progress, and that should be reflected in the way we prepare for Week One,” Cousins said, “but at the same time, the last thing we’re going to do is hit the panic button or change our approach to the point where we’re trying to blow everything up and start over. I mean, we believe in what we’re doing and we know we’ve had success and I think it’s more of attention to detail and discipline. And when you start to do those things, the players start to make plays.”
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