It's been a bad start for Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, but reports of locker room questions bubbling up seem to be premature.
Washington has started the season 0-2, with a blowout loss to Pittsburgh and a tight loss to Dallas both taking place at home.
According to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, "multiple offensive players have begun to complain about quarterback Kirk Cousins, pointing to a lack of decisiveness, erratic play, and confusion." Watching the Redskins first two games of the year, it's safe to say there has been erratic play and confusion though not limited to only the offensive side of the ball.
Against the Cowboys, the Redskins defense was forced to burn two first-half timeouts on the defensive end as the team repeatedly lined up in the wrong formation and was forced to try to make late substitutions. In the opening loss to the Steelers, the coaching staff proved indecisive on two fourth-down calls.
The reality to the Redskins poor start is that there is no silver bullet.
Cousins has not played close to the level he showed in the second half of 2015, but save for kicker Dustin Hopkins, no facet of the squad has performed particularly well. Jay Gruden and the 'Skins coaching staff admitted to being outcoached against Pittsburgh, and against Dallas, breakdowns came up and down the roster.
"There’s a lot of other issues that we had today, that’s for sure—coaching, playing, offense, defense, we all had our hand in that one," Gruden said.
All things considered, Cousins struggled Sunday against Dallas, particularly when the team needed touchdowns. On three trips to the red zone in the second half, the Redskins offense mustered just six points. Cousins fourth-quarter interception in the end zone was probably his worst throw of the young season, and a play the QB likely desperately wish he hadn't made.
"I don’t know what he saw on the interception," Gruden said of the play.
On deep throws, Cousins lacked touch on Sunday, missing surefire touchdowns to both DeSean Jackson and Jamison Crowder. And while offensive players are likely quite frustrated from the team's poor start, it would be quite shortsighted to count out Cousins at this early stage of the season. Remember, Cousins caught fire in the second half of the 2015 season, throwing just three interceptions over the last 10 games compared to 23 touchdowns en route to an NFC East title.
Washington probably should have won Sunday's game against Dallas. In the early going of 2016, the team has a bad habit of taking field goals when they need touchdowns. And Cousins play has not delivered at the level a $20 million contract demands. Yet.
Despite the frantic rush to call a season dead, the Redskins have 14 games remaining. With just one year as a starter under his belt, Cousins has proven he can get hot. In his second year as starter, he's earned the right to show he can overcome a poor start, locker room mumbling or not.
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