Redskins QB Kirk Cousins on Jurrell Casey: "As Good an Interior Defensive Lineman as There Is"

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REDSKINS QB KIRK COUSINS

(on preparing for this week's game)

We're looking forward to a home game and a chance to get a win. We need a win. We just need to have a good week of preparation and have a great time in the film room and practice field, just continue to get better and correct mistakes so that we don't continue this string of losing.

(on Redskins senior vice president Tony Wyllie)

Tony (Wyllie's) been keeping me in line, I guess would be the better way to say it. He's doing well. He just told me when I got on my call that it's one of his six former teams he's been with. Kind of funny.

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(on what he sees from the Titans' defense)

They do have some talented players that maybe don't get the notoriety of other players in the league. Jurrell Casey up front is as good of an interior defensive lineman as there is. He's very, very disruptive. That'll be a challenge for us. On the back end, they've got a great safety, Michael Griffin. They've got players, they've got playmakers. We've got to really have good attention to detail and have great preparation this week to have a chance on Sunday.

(on throwing interceptions this season)

I think if you look at it, it really was I think two or two and half quarters where I've thrown seven interceptions. In the other quarters I've played, out of 20 quarters that I've played, there have been two where I've thrown seven interceptions. The other 18 have been, I think, one interception or something like that. It's more in those two quarters what happened, and I just feel like I was trying to do too much and trying to get back in the game all in one play and forcing things. If I just stay within myself and stay patient and let the game come to me, the results tend to be pretty good. As long as I protect the football and we convert third downs, I think we're going to have a great success as an offense going forward, not just this week but the rest of the year.

(on moving from backup quarterback to starting quarterback)

I think the biggest difference is just the number of reps in practice. As a backup, you only get scout team reps. You aren't able to get the live reps in 11-on-11 with the new plays through the week, so you have to kind of rep them on your own after practice. That makes it tougher, so I think getting all those reps has helped and has prepared me much better than if I was a backup only getting scout team reps. Obviously, mentally you have to understand that you're going to play. While it shouldn't change the amount of preparation you have, it just gives you that heightened sense of urgency. Other than that, as a backup you have to be ready, you have to do all you can any way you can to make sure that you're ready. Otherwise, you won't be able to last in this league.

(on having a heightened sense of awareness when backing up a mobile quarterback)

I think it is a little different than if you're backing up a guy that's made 100 consecutive starts and isn't really leaving the pocket and gets rid of the ball very early and avoids being hit. Still, I just think as a backup, in order to be able to last in this league or to one day become a starting quarterback for a franchise or to play several years, whether it be as a backup or as a starter, you have to put the preparation in and have that approach every week that you're going to play. Otherwise, you just won't be prepared when your number does get called. You can't afford to miss an opportunity, otherwise you won't be in the league very long.

(on Redskins WR DeSean Jackson)

He's a special player, makes my job much easier as a quarterback. One of things I've had to learn while playing, which has been tough, is just how talented he is, how much he can go and get the ball. Even when he's covered, he can still be open because of the way he separates. I've had to learn that because I wasn't getting a lot of reps with him in the off season program or in training camp because I was working with the twos. There have been some times in practice or even in games where I've let the ball go and thought for sure it would be incomplete, and he goes and gets it and makes it a big gain. I've had to learn. There are times when I've probably not thrown the ball to him in the games where, going back and watching the film, we may have had a touchdown if I had cut the ball loose, because he's just a different caliber player on the deep ball than your average receiver in this league. That takes time to learn and develop. We've had to kind of do that learning curve through the season as opposed to in the off season. The more we continue to work with each other, I think he's going to continue to make big plays just because of how talented he is.

(on his relationship with Redskins WR DeSean Jackson and other players since becoming starting quarterback)

I think whether it's DeSean (Jackson) or Pierre (Garcon) or Andre Roberts or tight ends or whatever, our running backs, they've all been supportive. They're all total professionals and are going to stay positive, keep working hard, no matter what, if we're 5-1 or 1-5 and just keep going and keep working. They don't change their preparation from week to week. Whoever's quarterbacking or however we're doing, they're going to continue to just keep staying positive, working really, really hard. When you approach the game like that, I think you always give yourself a chance to get a win and have success.

(on struggling on third downs)

I think it's been a combination of factors. That is an important aspect of the game that if we can convert on third downs and improve in that area, I think a lot of the other pieces of our offense are going to start to come together. I think you've got to have everybody working on the same page. You've got to have receivers, you've got to have protection, you've got to be making good decisions as a quarterback, moving in the pocket well. You've got to know where your outlets are. There are all kinds of elements that come into play in converting third downs, but that'll certainly be a point of emphasis this week in practice.

(on Robert Griffin III's involvement with the team)

He's very engaged. He's in all the meetings and at all the practices and walk-throughs. Mentally, he's going through it like he's going to play, which is smart of him to do and will prepare him well for when he's fully healthy. Entering games, he's on the sideline going through the iPad pictures and discussing everything with us and our coaches. He's right there the whole way through.

(on Redskins head coach Jay Gruden)

I think we've all enjoyed playing for Jay (Gruden). We feel like he has a great understanding of football and of our offense. I think he's called good plays. He's done a good job preparing us for games, and it's just a matter of us as players going out and executing and doing what we're coached to do. From a coaching standpoint, I think we all have a great relationship with Jay, believe in him as a coach, believe in his staff, and we know that we just need to go out there and get the job done.

(on if there's a culture change with a new head coach)

I don't know. I guess it's hard to quantify. It's not really a tangible thing. I think to really have a culture change, you have to start winning, and you have to get to the playoffs and put together some weeks where you have a lot of wins and are competing for a division title. That's what we're striving for, and we haven't gotten off to the start we wanted to. That's the goal here.

(on the sense of urgency to get a win)

We feel like every week has been like that. Since we started 0-1, we felt like we've got to get a win, we've got to get a win and get back on track. It hasn't happened in the last several weeks. The sense of urgency or the importance of playing well and finding a way to win by whatever means necessary is no different this week. We need to find a way to win. That's life in the NFL. Every week you've got to go out there, put everything you have into it, and if you don't, it's going to be hard to find a way to win.

(on the pressure of needing to win)

If you want to look at it positively, we've been in a lot of games. The Giants game was a game where we worked in the fourth quarter, and all the other ones, we played good football teams, and we're right there in the fourth quarter. You can point to two, three, four plays that if those go our way or if we make the play, the results are much different. We know that, having been now in my third year, I know the margin for error is very, very small. The difference between teams that go 10-6 and 6-10 can be very, very minute difference. That's where it comes back to preparation, having good attention to detail and leaving no stone unturned, because when you start to overlook things, they come back and bite you and cost you wins and cost you a chance to do something special.

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