Kirk Cousins is without question one of the most intriguing players to keep an eye on as 2016 NFL training camp is set to get underway at full speed. Last season was a huge one for Cousins as he finally proved that he is more than capable of being an NFL starting quarterback. He may not be the long-term starter for the Washington Redskins with the way contract talks have gone as Bleacher Report has reported, but he will be the starter this season.
Looking ahead to training camp, there are a few things that the Redskins should expect to see from their quarterback. If they are even going to consider giving him a long-term contract, Washington will need some improvement from Cousins.
Last season with the Redskins, according to ESPN statistics, Cousins ended up completing a sizzling 69.8 percent of his pass attempts for 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. He led the Redskins to the playoffs, but the team ended up losing to the Green Bay Packers in the Wild Card round of the postseason.
At 27-years-old, Cousins is a bit of a late bloomer, and he will have to grow faster than most. Currently, he is not worth the kind of money that he is looking for, but there is no question that he can earn it in 2016.
First of all, Cousins will need to improve as a leader both on and off-the-field for the Redskins. Every single quarterback in the NFL has to be a top-notch leader for the offense. Cousins showed flashes of that last season, but he has to take another step and learn how to make his teammates better around him.
Secondly, there is room for improvement from a consistency standpoint. Cousins would have monster performances one week and come back with a bit of a disappointment the next. That can’t happen if Cousins wants to be the type of quarterback that can lead his team to a Super Bowl appearance.
Finally, the Redskins need Cousins to prove that he can get them to the postseason for a second straight season. They need him to come into training camp focused on that one goal. Cousins needs to show that he is working harder than ever to prove his talent and desire to remain with the Redskins moving forward.
It will be interesting to see what he looks like during training camp and preseason action this season.
Washington has a fairly easy division this season with the Dallas Cowboys being their biggest threat. They shouldn’t have too much trouble beating out either the New York Giants or Philadelphia Eagles.
Jay Gruden has complete faith in Cousins as his starting quarterback. That was shown last season when he started Cousins ahead of former No. 2 overall pick Robert Griffin III. His faith in Cousins could lead to a new deal ultimately getting done, but it won’t come without being earned.
Washington is a team to keep an eye on early this season. After making the playoffs last season, the pressure is on them to prove that they can take the next step. Cousins will be the deciding factor for their 2016 season and has a lot of pressure riding on his shoulders.
Predicting his season certainly isn’t easy, but the Redskins have put a lot of weapons around him. It would be reasonable to expect Cousins to complete 64.0 percent of his passes for 3,800 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.
Expect to see him continue playing a solid, all-around brand of football, but don’t expect him to prove himself to be a franchise caliber quarterback.
Do you think Kirk Cousins will prove to be a franchise quarterback? Will he lead the Washington Redskins to the playoffs? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[Photo by Matt Rourke/AP Images]