KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Kirk Cousins’s first Pro Bowl is in the books. He walked away unharmed, although chasing down Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib during the final moments of the game gave fans reason to hold their breath. Now, the Washington Redskins quarterback will resume his offseason plans. Cousins will be based out of Atlanta with his in-laws, where the weather is warmer for him to throw outside. There are also a number of NFL players who reside there. Cousins said the area makes it easier logistically for him to prepare for the next season.
“Lasts year this week, I’m usually just in Atlanta training, working out, stretching and just watching TV at night with my father-in-law, hanging out,” Cousins said. “We stay with my in-laws in the winter in Atlanta. It’s fun to be here. I love being able to get back out here and playing football again because when the season ended, it’s nice to be off for a couple of days. But then you’re ready to get back at it. It’s fun to get back out and throw the football around and get to know some of these guys that you’re going up against every week on Sundays. I enjoy getting to know them and hearing their stories, what they do that’s made them successful. I hope I can get back as many years as possible because this is a lot of fun.”
Cousins, a pending free agent, will then head to Michigan after minicamp, during the league’s dead period in the summer. The native of Holland, Mich., which is roughly three hours away from Detroit, will spend time with friends and family there before reporting for training camp. The routine has been effective so far, as Cousins hasn’t missed a game over the past two seasons as Washington’s full-time starter.
“I take it very seriously to stay healthy throughout the season and do the things necessary to be in good shape,” Cousins said. “That’s what the offseason is all about is recovering then building your body back up and your mind back up to be ready to go for that 16-game grind.”
Here are few more leftover tidbits from the Pro Bowl last week:
● Cousins can be very reserved, but he has displayed more of his personality as of late — particularly on social media. Just this month, Cousins has tweeted during the NFL playoffs, the College Football Playoff championship game, cameos at the mall with his wife and even about the television show “Parks and Recreation.” He understands the NFL is a platform and the players can make it whatever they’d like with their visibility, which can open other opportunities either during or after their playing careers.
“I think I’m getting more and more aware of what a great opportunity it is to play in this league and wanting to maximize it, allowing people to see who you are and what you’re about and what makes you tick,” Cousins said. “At times I play it close to the vest and try to be careful not to stick my foot in my mouth. But I think it’s also a good thing to put yourself out there, show who you are and allow fans and people who follow our team to really feel like they can get to know you.”
After being disqualified during the Pro Bowl skills event, Cousins made a clever reference to “Dodgeball” on Twitter. He was confused by the lines on the field, which led to the infraction.
“There were three middle lines. I’m used to playing with one,” Cousins said. “There were three. What I thought was I could cross to their line, and they could cross to mine so that there would be an area where we could be. It was the opposite. There was a dead area where you couldn’t cross. I stepped over the line not knowing that I was out like that. They had refs and everything, but it was fun.”
● Left tackle Trent Williams didn’t participate in the Pro Bowl last season, but he made the trip to Central Florida this time, in his fifth straight selection. Along with Cousins, Williams said he had a number of friends attending the event. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray were teammates with Williams at Oklahoma. Williams also has a good relationship with former Redskins outside linebacker and current Tennessee Titan Brian Orakpo.
“It’s just a lot of guys that I’m really cool with that decided to come, so I decided to come out and take the kids to Disney World, have a nice time and especially get away from that D.C. weather a little bit,” Williams said.
It also gave the Redskins two Pro Bowl representatives this year after having none last year. They could’ve had more, but outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, tight end Jordan Reed and right guard Brandon Scherff declined to participate.
“It’s fun to have a teammate from the Redskins,” Cousins said. “I’d hate to be here by myself. The fact that Trent is here, and we could’ve had Jordan Reed and Brandon Scherff, I think we would’ve been well represented. We would’ve had a lot of fun. Trent being here is great. It says a lot about his talent. We need to have more and more Pro Bowlers coming out of Washington.”
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