This Kirk Cousins season has been unusual from the start: the fruitless offseason maneuvering, Bruce Allen’s “Kurt Kurt Kurt” statement, the way every snap has been scrutinized for its future impact, the way every game has served as a referendum on that future, the absolute conviction from some fans that Cousins is gone and from other fans that he’ll be back, the mildly disappointing team results mixed with the promising personal performance.
Turns out the ending will also be unusual. Five days after Cousins concludes his third season and potentially final season as Washington’s starter with a weird game at the Meadowlands, he will make an appearance at a live “season in review” event with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier, meant both to raise money for the D.C. Dream Center and to let Cousins talk directly with his constituents.
The idea for this event came from Cousins’s camp, inspired — the quarterback said — from a similar event held before this season started. But with so much on the line over the next few months, every word he utters will be analyzed.
“I just found it was really a blessing for me to able to talk to the fans face to face, to shake their hands, to thank them, to hear their questions,” the quarterback said on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday morning. “I found that to be a very positive experience. So many times — whether it’s a news conference or a radio show like this — it certainly is a way to communicate with the fans, but there’s always a middle man, and you’re really not able to talk to them face to face.
“So I find it to be a powerful experience both ways,” Cousins said, “and I think there’s honesty and some transparency there that can be a really good thing for the fans and a really good thing for us as players. So I was looking for a way to be able to do that, and I thought before we leave town for the offseason, it might make some sense to try to put something together. If there’s a way to give back and impact the city in a positive way and make a difference as well, why not?”
Paulsen said Cousins would do a question-and-answer session with fans both about his past and his future and that “every penny” raised from ticket sales will go to the Dream Center, which describes itself as “a center for community where the needs of people in our city, especially youth, are met.” Tickets for the event, which will be held at Jammin Java in Vienna, start at $40 for general admission standing, with higher-priced tickets going for $50, $60 or $125 for a meet and greet. And while Cousins will speak after Sunday’s game, his words at this charity event seem almost certain to make additional news.
Meanwhile, Cousins continued to talk in his Tuesday radio interview about building a culture in Washington, a culture of indeterminate length.
“I was pleased with the resiliency, the character that it takes to come back when you aren’t in the playoff hunt, but to still put a good product on the field and play well,” Cousins said when speaking of Sunday’s win. That, he said, is “the kind of culture we want to have here with the Redskins. So there’s still a week to go, and we’ve got to finish right. But we said, if we can get to 8-8, if we can win the last three, I think it causes a different feeling walking away from this season. And we know that, and we’re going to go into work [Wednesday] with the expectation that we still have a lot to play for and we can kind of change the tenor of this season if we can walk away at 8-8. So that’s where our focus will be.”
Cousins also talked at length about his end zone interception against the Broncos on Sunday, a play that wound up insignificant to the final result but that the quarterback said was easily his worst moment of the game.
“I felt like that red zone interception was 100 percent on me” he said. “It’s really unacceptable, and if our defense hadn’t had such a dominant day, that’s the kind of play that can come back to haunt you in a game and in a season. You can’t do that, shouldn’t do that. And I was frustrated with myself over that one. You know, going back and talking about the process, we’ve talked about how there have been games where we haven’t won but I’ve felt like I’ve played well and done a lot of good things, and that can get lost. I also want to focus on a game like Sunday where I made a big mistake, and because we won, and the defense played in such a way that it really wasn’t close, that mistake doesn’t come back to haunt us.
“But as I look at process, that’s just not okay. It’s unacceptable. And I have to get better and make sure that doesn’t happen again. So I don’t want to lose that as we walk away from a win feeling good about ourselves.”
On the other hand, Cousins said the Redskins’ offense expected a challenging day against the highly rated Denver defense, especially after the way the game began, “and then to come away with so much production and feel like we kind of won going away — and the defense has a lot to do with that — but I was just really pleased with the ultimate production by the end of the day and what we were able to accomplish,” Cousins said.
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