The Washington Post

Kirk Cousins says ‘I never felt chaos’ during Redskins’ turbulent week

Kirk Cousins (12) says he thinks he had a good week of practices to ready for his second NFL start (Patrick Semansky/Associated Press)

Quarterback Kirk Cousins said Friday he thinks he had a good week of preparation on the practice field as he readies to make his second NFL start when the Washington Redskins play Sunday at Atlanta.

“I’ve said for a long time any time I can get reps in practice, it goes a long way,” Cousins said in the locker room at Redskins Park following practice. “So I’ve gotten better over the last three days. I’ve improved as a quarterback and I’m hoping that can continue over the next several weeks.”

Cousins faced the Falcons in a relief appearance last season as a rookie, throwing for a touchdown and two interceptions in a five-for-nine, 111-yard passing performance.

“It doesn’t hurt” to have faced the Falcons previously, Cousins said. “Any time I get in there, whether I make mistakes or play well, it can’t hurt to get in there and learn from things and gain experience and gain confidence.”

It was a turbulent week in which Redskins Coach Mike Shanahan announced Wednesday that he was sitting down Robert Griffin III for the remainder of the season and going with Cousins as the starter. Cousins said he was able to go about his business even with all that was swirling around him.

“I never felt chaos,” Cousins said. “I never felt like we needed to settle down. I mean, obviously on the outside things are going on. But when it comes to getting ready for the Falcons and practice, there was no settling down that needed to happen. We just went to work and between the lines it was your standard week of a good week of preparation.”

Shanahan said he believes the Redskins are ready to play.

“The main thing is [to] concentrate on your job and even though there are distractions, you want to be able to focus on that,” Shanahan said. “I think we’ve been able to do that as a football team. Our guys have had an excellent week of doing the things that we asked them to do to get ready. I thought today was another good day and hopefully it carries over to the game.”

Of the week that Cousins had on the practice field, Shanahan said: “I think he’s done a good job. I think with all the extra reps that he’s gotten, you feel more comfortable not only with yourself but the timing with the first[-team] receivers and just going through a normal game plan.”

Griffin is to be on the inactive list Sunday while Rex Grossman backs up Cousins.

Shanahan said of Griffin’s practice-field demeanor this week: “He’s been great. He’s done everything we asked him to do.”

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.



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Mark Maske · December 13, 2013