WASHINGTON — Kirk Cousins turned in his most profitable rushing performance of the season Saturday against the Bears, something that wasn’t entirely planned, but was on his mind.
The Redskins quarterback ran the ball five times for 30 yards and two touchdowns, all high-water marks for him on the season, on top of the 270 yards and one touchdown he contributed through the air in a lopsided 41-21 win at Chicago.
Cousins says head coach Jay Gruden reminded him the night before the game, with the Bears likely to show a lot of man coverage, that he may see more opportunities to use his legs.
“It’s just funny because the night before we always have a quarterback meeting in the hotel going over the final details of the game plan, making sure we’re all on the same page,” Cousins said. “And as we left the meeting, Jay said to me, ‘How many first downs you gonna run for tomorrow?’
“And I said, ‘I got a couple in me.’
“And he said, ‘Good. Because,’ he said, ‘the coverages they play, you got a great shot, so don’t forget about your legs.'”
“He was right,” Cousins said. “There were a few times where the opportunity to run the ball was there and we ran to move the chains. It’s a part of my game I’d like to probably do a little more than I currently do, but at the same time, you don’t want to rush to run and not go through your reads and not trust your pocket.”
“So it’s that balance of being able to go through your progressions and trust the pocket, but also instinctually be able to leave,” he said. “The longer I play, the better feel I’ll get for that, but it was good to be able to use my legs [on Saturday] and find a way to move the ball on the ground.”
“Man coverage enables you to be able to run,” he went on to say. “The type of man coverage you play, if it’s one plug where there’s a guy who’s free who’s spying the quarterback, that may make it a little bit harder than if it’s two-man or one-dog where there’s nobody spying the quarterback.
“The coverages play a big role in that and then you’ve got to be able to just hold up in the pocket long enough and then find a crease to get through.”
“So for whatever reason [against the Bears], those creases were there and I was able to get through my progressions and just didn’t feel like I had anybody and then was able to take off,” he said.
“For whatever reason, they came in bunches in that one game and it was just a good way to stay on the field and keep moving and score points.”