On Monday, Jay Gruden said that as a young coach trying to improve his command of the quarterback position, he studied film of Tom Brady because New England’s quarterback had virtually no flaws in his game.
On Wednesday, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins echoed his head coach’s sentiments when asked about Brady, whom he called “the greatest of all time” without a split-second’s hesitation.
Cousins, 27, went on to explain that he had spoken to the 38-year-old Brady just once and used to occasion to extend a compliment — one shared, no doubt, by many quarterbacks around the NFL. “I did tell him, the one time I talked to him, ‘I study you. You do it at the highest level,’ ” Cousins recalled Wednesday, as the Redskins launched into preparations for Sunday’s game at the 7-0 Patriots.
“He has kind of set the standard for all of us to follow. It’s a high standard to meet. That’s the goal, certainly, every year, every offseason: To work and to prepare to try to play at the level he does, week in and week out.”
Gruden, asked Wednesday about the challenge of defending Brady, zeroed in on his awareness of all that’s going on around him and his ability to adjust immediately.
“That’s why he’s the best, because he has a clock in his head,” Gruden said. “He know when you’re bringing too many, he gets rid of it quick. If you’re only bringing three, he’ll wait for his guys to get open and uncover. He does a great job of pocket awareness — knowing where his guys are, knowing how much time he exactly has in the pocket, and he gets rid of the ball.”
Brady has completed 68.9 percent of his throws (199 of 289) this season for 2,410 yards, 20 touchdowns and one interception that wasn’t his fault.
The Patriots lead the league with a 35.6 points-per-game scoring average. The Redskins are averaging 21.1 per game.
Gruden has stressed this week that to be competitive, the Redskins must play nearly flawless football on offense, committing no turnovers and minimizing penalties, while the defense must find ways to force turnovers.
“He’s not going to throw it to us, I wouldn’t think,” Gruden said of Brady. “It’s going to be important to get our hands on some balls somehow.”
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