Kirk Cousins to His 4th-Quarter Critics: ‘People Who Know, Know’

As Sunday’s game between the Redskins and Seahawks pushed into the fourth quarter, Fox displayed a graphic — one to which announcers Kevin Burkhardt and Charles Davis referred several times — showing how much better Russell Wilson has been than Kirk Cousins in the fourth quarter.

Wilson held up his end of that bargain, throwing fourth-quarter touchdowns passes to Luke Willson and Doug Baldwin, the latter giving Seattle a 14-10 lead with 1:34 remaining in regulation.

But Cousins refused to let the percentages define him, driving the Redskins 70 yards on just four plays to reclaim the lead, 17-14, while using all of 35 seconds of clock time to do it. The Redskins held on to win in stunning fashion in Seattle.

Asked about that fourth-quarter narrative, Cousins invoked a reference of his own.

“You know, I  had a former coach who said to me, as I was kind of coming up in the league, he would say, ‘Kirk, people who know, know,'” Cousins told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier during his weekly segment Monday — ‘Under Center,’ driven by the Lindsay Automotive Group.

“And what he meant by that is,” Cousins explained, “if you understand quarterbacking, understand what it takes to play quarterback in this league, there really isn’t a debate about can you play, can you make the fourth-quarter plays, can you make the throws, can you bring us back, are you the guy? People who know, know.”

“It’s the people who don’t know, and don’t get it, that I think have those conversations and have those debates,” he said. “So I’m not gonna waste my time or energy worrying about people who don’t know football and what they’re saying.”

“But I do believe that people who know, know,” he said. “And, if a fourth-quarter drive like that to win the game helps some people who don’t get football to be able to come around, then so be it, but those aren’t the people I’m trying to win over at the end of the day.”

The coach who instilled that in Cousins? Sean McVay.

“Well, Sean used to tell that to me as I was trying to make my way,” Cousins said. “He would say people are gonna doubt, people are gonna have their opinions, but the people who know, know, and you don’t really need to worry about anybody else. Just stay the course.”

After the game, a new narrative had congealed.

Cousins went through several plays during the interview, providing additional insight into what the cameras couldn’t pick up.

High Snap/Hand-Off to Rob Kelley

“Well, this is why I love Rob Kelley,” Cousins said, “because as the ball is seemingly 10 stories high and I’m just waiting for it to come down, hoping I don’t get sandwiched in the process, I hear Rob yelling… I don’t know exactly what he said, but I remember hearing something like ‘Kirk, give it to me.’ Basically, like, let me be the sacrificial lamb.”

“I could feel him next to me and I could hear him saying, like, ‘Let me take it. Let me take it.’ The minute I got it, I could feel him there and I just handed it to him, basically both of us recognizing that he’ll take the hit for both of us,” he said. “That’s why you love Rob. He’s a teammate in every sense of the word and wants to win, and is willing to put it on the line for the group.”

Who was that Doctson/Pryor pass intended for?

Getting tons of pressure, Cousins converted a first down with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, after seemingly threading the needle between defenders, when Josh Doctson came back to make a great catch in front of Terrelle Pryor on the sideline.

“Total transparency, I was trying to throw at Terrelle,” Cousins said. “And I felt like I had to touch it over a lot of people, and I wanted to just put it up high where only he could get it. It was high. I felt like, if he wanted to, he could have gotten it, but he felt Josh behind him and must have thought I was throwing to him and it worked out.”

“Those are the plays that you say ‘fortunate, worked out, wasn’t by design,'” he said. “We’ve been unfortunate several times too this year, so it’s nice to have something fall your way.”

BYOB: Bring Your Own Block

Cousins enlightened listeners on a saying around Redskins Park: BYOB.

“I thought both of the touchdown runs by Rob Kelley, those are not easy runs,” he said. “I mean, those take second efforts. Those take — we call it B.Y.O.B. You gotta Bring Your Own Block, because there’s gonna be a linebacker who’s on block and is gonna meet you in the hole, and you as a running back have to meet him and bring your own block, and drive your legs and find a way to get across the goal line. Rob did that on both those touchdown runs, which was huge.”

Mitsubishi Electric Cooling & Heating FAN Question of the Week

The exchange in the Samaje Perine lost fumble. You were mic’d up a few weeks ago against San Francisco and got on him about his pocket. Was that a situation where the rookie’s got to do a better job giving you a pocket to hand off? — Steve on Twitter

“I’ve got to talk to him now that we’ve seen the film, when we get back to work tomorrow and just ask him what he was thinking,” Cousins said. “We changed our run tracks a little bit this week, and I came out of that play from under center a little tighter, Samaje was a little wider. I may have been too tight, and then when I had to redirect to get out to his width, by the time I reached for him the pocket was closed.”

“The sideline comment is just, ‘Hey, try to keep that pocket open,’ but then you go on and move forward,” Cousins said. “I’ve got to ask him, ‘Hey, what did you feel? What did you see? Talk to the coaches.’

“Yeah. We’ve just got to find a way to make sure that pocket’s kept open, but it’s hard, because it’s a rhythm thing, it’s a timing thing and the ball wasn’t on him as quickly as it normally would be because of the tracks being off. He’s trying to read the blocks and know when to cut it up — he’s got a lot to think about, too, while he’s trying to keep that pocket open.”

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