WASHINGTON — No matter how confused you were watching the Redskins bungle the 4th-and-one scenario where the team burned a timeout and still took a delay of game, quarterback Kirk Cousins was more bewildered.
He shared his recollection of the sequence with Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan on Friday and blamed it on a personnel substitution mistake.
“From what I could gather, the punt team ran on and I walked off. I basically saw Brandon [Scherff] telling him (head coach Jay Gruden), ‘We’re going for this, we’re gonna get it,'” Cousins explained. “Jay [Gruden], I guess, agreed and called the timeout.
“We called for our “Tre” personnel, our three tight end personnel set, to come on the field. I’m standing there, ready to go and have got the play call. The ref sets the play clock and blows the whistle, and I realize, hey, we only have 10 guys in here. Where’s our eleventh guy?
It gets worse: of the 10 guys in the huddle, at least one of them (an extra receiver) shouldn’t have been there at all, meaning at least two of right players were missing from the critical huddle.
“There was a big substitution error, and I’m looking to the sideline, waiting any moment for the right personnel to come on,” Cousins continued. “As the seconds ticked off and no one was coming on, I realized, we’re running out of time here.
“Then, I just tried to call a similar play with the personnel we had. By the time I called it and we got up to the line of scrimmage, there was no time left, so we took the delay of game and punted.”
While there is a reasonable explanation in there, Cousins was very clear that this is not acceptable for a team with playoff aspirations.
The Redskins were fortunate to be playing the woeful New York Giants in a game where field position and second half timeouts didn’t come home to roost.
“That’s the kind of thing that just can’t happen. It shouldn’t happen,” he lamented. “We have to be more on top of things. Otherwise, that will come back and bite you more times than not.”
Fortunately, in this case, all is well that ends well.