RICHMOND, Va. - Training camp's first practice is the first chance for Redskins players to start getting better. However, it was practice at his first Pro Bowl Kirk Cousins says helped "pass" along some valuable reps.
“Being at the Pro Bowl was helpful to be around great players, not just quarterbacks but some of the best defensive players in the NFC, and to practice with them all week and learn from them and watch their habits I think was helpful for me," Cousins explained. "I’m going to continue to look for examples to follow."
His own story is a pretty good model to follow, too. Cousins played his senior year of high school without any scholarship offers. He found success in college. But the Michigan State of his career did not project NFL stardom.
"It wasn’t like I was a first-team All-American or Heisman trophy finalist," Cousins recalled. "I was always trying to see, ‘Hopefully, I can start’ and then ‘Hopefully I can lead us to a bowl game and a conference championship and hopefully I can get drafted, we’ll see."
The fifth year pro has started every game for the Redskins the last two seasons. Also, back to back years, Cousins has passed on long-term - albeit below-market value - contracts from the Redskins. Kirk opted to prove his worth on the field, on a one year deal.
Cousins makes a living throwing the ball forward, but the present is about what's behind him.
"That’s been my story all along, and I’ve just learned that’s the way life is," Cousins said. "Maybe that’s the way theLord wants it to be for me, and I’m OK with that. It’s allowed me to trust in Him and have faith in Him and not trust myself so I’m in a good place. I think it’s a healthy place for me to be. It’s worked in the past."
And if it continues to work going forward, the Redskins (and Cousins) will be just fine.