If Sunday’s Redskins-Eagles game ends up being affected by Hurricane Joaquin, Kirk Cousins says he’ll be ready for the possibility of a slick, heavier ball.
“Rain affects [the passing game], wind affects it,” Cousins said after Wednesday’s practice. “When they start to combine and [there’s] a lot of both, it can be really difficult. …I’ve always been able to throw a wet ball pretty consistently. I don’t feel like it takes me off my game too much.”
“That being said,” Cousins added, “it is a wrinkle and a challenge."
The main challenge, the Redskins’ quarterback said, isn’t necessarily throwing the ball but rather accepting snaps from the center.
"More than throwing is probably ...just the center-quarterback exchange, just getting that snap," he said. "Because it comes up quickly and if you don’t get a clean grip, it can slip right through your hands. So center-quarterback exchange is probably just as big of an emphasis as the actual throwing and catching.”
Cousins also said he would consider dunking footballs in a bucket of water in the coming days during practice—just in case.
“If it’s going to stay dry out here the next couple of days then really the best strategy is to literally dump [the ball] in a bucket,” he said. “It’s kind of overkill, but it’s probably your best option. If nothing else, to just get center-quarterback exchanges with Kory [Lichtensteiger] after dunking it in a bucket. If nothing else, potentially even filter some of those footballs into a period here and there to get that practice.”
Eagles Coach Chip Kelly said he and his staff have begun to monitor Joaquin closely. Redskins Coach Jay Gruden, meanwhile, said a heavy, steady rain could work to Washington's advantage. After all, Gruden’s offense ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing attempts through three games.
“If it is what they say it is then there won’t be many balls in the air, that’s for sure,” Gruden said. “That is what we want to be.”