WASHINGTON — Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is defending Terrelle Pryor after several dropped passes in Sunday’s preseason game.
After three games, Cousins hasn’t lost confidence in the first-year Redskins receiver, he told Grant Paulsen & Danny Rouhier during his weekly segment — ‘Under Center,’ driven by the Lindsay Automotive Group — on Monday.
Asked about his confidence in Pryor, Cousins said, “I think it’s growing. We did hit a big third-down conversion.”
“One thing we haven’t done in the preseason is really go over-the-top with Terrelle,” he said. “We haven’t taken him down the field and tried to really light it up, and certainly that’s one of his elite traits.”
“So, some of it hasn’t been put on display of what he can do, but every single one of those incompletions, you could argue, either was a really tight play that was gonna be tough regardless, and if it was a catch, it’s gonna be a really good catch,” he said. “Or, the ball wasn’t exactly thrown right on his face mask. I could take just as much ownership on any of those incompletions.”
“I’m always looking at, ‘How can I throw that ball a little better?’ And, frankly, on all those, he is pretty open,” he said. “The ball could have, should have been thrown on his face mask.
“There are ways we can continue to be better and build that, but, again, it’s still early in the process. We haven’t had a regular-season game yet and so, I think it’s going to be constantly evolving with him where we’re going to get better and better as the year goes on.”
The Redskins are 1-2 in the preseason, something even Cousins admits “doesn’t mean a whole lot.” Despite Washington’s lack of production on offense, he still sees the positives with one preseason game remaining before the regular season begins.
“I felt like the positives would be we really did run the ball pretty effectively. Was really pleased with that,” he said. “I was pleased with the 75-yard drive that we had, and we were able to punch it in.”
“On the negative side: too many three-and-outs, for different reasons,” he said. “Certainly the interception is a game-changing play that just can’t happen. A lot of those three-and-outs are very fixable.
“We can say that ‘it’s fixable, it’s fixable,’ but it’s all talk until it gets fixed. We’ve got to be better and it starts with me with the ball in my hand.”
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For Kirk, is throwing to bigger receivers, who may not get as much separation, more daunting than throwing it to smaller, faster guys? — John
“I would say it’s something we’ve talked about all offseason now,” Cousins said. “There should be an inherent advantage there, that we can throw guys the ball who appear to be covered, and they could still potentially make the play just because of their size.”
“We’re still learning that a bit,” he admitted. “You want separation, whether you’re big or small. You want a guy to separate and you’re gonna first say, ‘Hey, win on the route and create separation,’ and if it doesn’t happen, then yeah, you can make us right and still make the play.
“That’s what we really want, first and foremost. We talk about Terrelle Pryor’s speed — I do think that he can separate down the field. I mean, if we give him the chances and put it out there for him, he’ll go get it. And many times in practice, if he’s even with the defensive back, he’s leaving.”
“In other words, by the time I let it go,” he explained, “it may appear like it’s a tight throw, and then by the time it gets to him, he’s five or six yards separated from the defender. That’s some of that trust we’ve got to build and develop through practice and I’m excited to just start giving him opportunities here in games.”