There have been times this year when Jay Gruden has treated quarterback Kirk Cousins with kid gloves, making what some saw as excuses for mistakes rather than giving an honest critique of his performance. He may be developing a new modus operandi now.
Cousins threw one interception during the Redskins’ 24-21 win over the Bears on Sunday. He explained on his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan that he did not see cornerback Kyle Fuller, who came over and swiped the pass intended for Pierre Garçon.
That happens to all quarterbacks from time to time. But Gruden said that Cousins perhaps should have known that Fuller would be there.
“I think he could have gotten a lot from the pre-snap recognition of where the corner was and the coverage,” said Gruden when asked about what Cousins had said. “He should have seen that it was Cover 2, and that particular route, the flat defender was the corner. He just didn’t see him. I don’t know if he was blinded by the right tackle or what have you. He needs to know where the corner is in Cover 2 for sure when you’re running a deep out-breaking route to Pierre.
“It’s something he’ll learn from, but he does have to do a better job of seeing where he’s throwing it and seeing the underneath hook defenders or flat defenders.”
Last year Gruden came under fire for sometimes being too harsh on Robert Griffin III. At the other end of the spectrum, earlier this year Gruden was criticized by some for mentioning the wind at MetLife Stadium after Cousins threw a pair of interceptions against the Jets there. So perhaps he is trying to find some middle ground where he maintains credibility without undressing his quarterback in public.