By Chris Lingebach

Here I was thinking Kirk Cousins was a nice, likable guy with a gentle soul, when all of a sudden not one, but three times in the past week someone in the national media has said otherwise, that the quarterback is not, in fact, well liked by his Redskins teammates.

It all started after the Redskins lost 38-14 to the Dallas Cowboys last Thursday. Marshall Faulk and Steve Smith, Sr. used their NFL Network post-game pulpit to question the passer’s leadership ability. Smith went as far as to say Cousins lost $10-$20 million off his next contract because of his poor leadership in the game.

On Monday, Dan Patrick, host of an eponymous nationally syndicated radio show, informed his listeners he had done “a little research about the whole Kirk Cousins situation” in light of Faulk and Smith’s harsh criticism.

Here’s what Patrick discovered: “Kirk Cousins is not well liked by his wide receivers. Not at all. So the behind the scenes intel is they’re not big Kirk Cousins fans.”

But the story doesn’t stop there. On Tuesday, a writer by the name of Jordan Schultz was asked, during an appearance with Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan, how the Redskins should move forward from this season after missing the playoffs.

Completely unprompted, the Yahoo Sports Insider opened his response by pointing to Cousins’ likability, or lack thereof.

“There is a consensus nationally that has been growing that Kirk Cousins not only shouldn’t be the guy long-term in Washington, but isn’t well liked,” said Schultz. “And you talk to people kind of around the league, and you start asking questions. His receivers, his playmakers — not only do they not like him, I don’t even know if they respect him. And that’s a real problem.”

“You don’t have to be best friends with your teammates,” he said. “You don’t even have to be friends with your quarterback, but you have to be able to trust him and respect him. And the lack of cohesion, with obviously [Jordan] Reed being out, [Jamison] Crowder, [Terrelle] Pryor. I mean, it’s one after another and that’s a real problem. So for me it starts with Cousins.”

“I know the alternative is scary,” he said. “But I don’t think he’s the answer long term, and that’s just me.”

So, in the span of six days, four people — Faulk, Smith, Patrick and Schultz — in the national media have floated a narrative the same narrative about Cousins, one which never previously existed prior to this week. Weird.

Schultz went on to say he likes Redskins coach Jay Gruden, though he doesn’t quite measure up to his former protege, Sean McVay.

“Now, from another perspective, I happen to like Jay Gruden,” Schultz said.  I think he’s a really good offensive coach. What McVay has done really well, I’m not sure Gruden has done the same, which is great offensive mind, delegate defensively and allow your really good coaches, your really good coordinators to do what they do best. To me with the Redskins, it just doesn’t seem like they have that cohesion as a staff, and you throw that in with Cousins, on the lack of trust there, and obviously some of the injuries, and that’s why they’re not going to the playoffs.”

“I don’t think Washington, from a personnel perspective, is as far off as some of these other teams that aren’t going to go to the postseason,” he added.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter


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