Aaron Rodgers had some nice things to say about Kirk Cousins on Tuesday.
But he had even more praise for Jay Gruden—and, specifically, the patience the Redskins’ head coach showed by sticking with his inexperienced quarterback.
“I think you’ve got to give Coach Gruden some credit as well for sticking with him and giving him an opportunity to develop and get better as the season has gone on,” Rodgers said on a conference call with Washington area reporters.
Indeed, Gruden continued to back Cousins earlier this season, even after the first-year starter threw eight interceptions in the Redskins’ first six games.
The reward, Rodgers added, is the drastic improvement Cousins has shown in recent weeks. In fact, Cousins has been one of the NFL’s hottest quarterbacks over the past 10 games, leading the Redskins to a 7-3 record while completing 72.4-percent of his passes. He’s also tossed 23 touchdowns, just three interceptions and amassed a passer rating of 119.1 during that span.
“You’ve obviously seen his improvement has led to wins and winning the division, so those guys deserve a lot of credit,” Rodgers said. “It’s tough, I think, today to have patience and it obviously paid off.”
Rodgers added that it’s harder these days to remain patient because there’s so much more pressure on coaches—and quarterbacks—to produce immediate results.
“That’s the tough part about being a young quarterback in 2015 compared to when I started in ,” Rodgers said. “I sat for three [years behind Brett Favre] and I went in there and actually expected to play well. But [nowadays], quarterbacks have less of that grace period because the coach’s job security is probably even less than it was 10 years ago. So there’s definitely a pressure and expectation of some quick play at a high level, and [Cousins] has done a good job of continuing to improve throughout the year.”