WASHINGTON — Another week and another round of commentary on the short and long-term prospects of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Daniel Cousins.
Late Tuesday morning, ESPN The Magazine published a story from their upcoming edition, looking at who believes Cousins has the goods to be a star in the NFL, and who sees him as fool’s gold. Generally speaking, that division seems to come based on how closely someone works with Cousins.
Unnamed NFL executives who have never worked with Cousins don’t think much of him:
“He’ll never be special. Great guy, will never embarrass you off the field, and if you were ranking guys, he’s probably above average. But he’s not special. And that’s not going to change. What you see is what you get.”
This cowardly anonymous take is countered by every coach and offensive coordinator that he has worked with since high school, who praise his innate ability to win while performing well.
Teammates, like 106.7 The Fan’s Santana Moss, speaking glowingly of his skills both as a quarterback and a leader, acknowledging the difficult position he was put in being drafted behind Robert Griffin III.
Former head coach Mike Shanahan even credited Cousins’ approach to the quarterback room, which could have been openly contentious with RGIII. Instead, Cousins learned and improved while Griffin alienated his coaches
Former Redskins’ general manager Scot McCloughan wanted to extend Cousins’ contract years ago but was given lowball leverage by ownership. It is widely believed that this was a sticking point in the downturn of his relationship with team president Bruce Allen.
Indeed, it seems, the only people in close proximity to Cousins who have not become believers are Allen and team owner Dan Snyder. This sets the stage for the team’s current predicament of what to do with Cousins at season’s end.
Shanahan provided Van Valkenburg with the postgame scene after Cousins won his first professional start in Cleveland in 2012. Griffin III was hurt in the previous week’s game vs. Baltimore, a game that Cousins entered and led the comeback effort.
In Cleveland, needing a win, Cousins threw for more than 300 yards and two scores. He was the hero of the day, but Snyder and Allen reportedly passed over him with nothing more than a shoulder pat on their way to visit Griffin III.
Amazingly, five years later, the Redskins still seem prepared to pass over an unassuming winner like Cousins while looking for the next superstar.