Pierre Garçon is on track for 1,000 yards this year, his first such season since 2013 and only the second four-digit receiving mark of his career. Kirk Cousins knows how he does it.
"He always practices really hard and I think that goes back to his days in Indianapolis with a really good offense and some Hall of Famers in Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne and playing with Peyton Manning. I think there was a standard of excellence there that he knows no other way to do it," Cousins said Wednesday of Garçon.
A sixth round pick in 2008, Garçon emerged slowly with the Colts. He caught just four passes as a rookie, but by his second year, the wideout emerged as the third receiving threat behind Harrison and Reggie Wayne. That year he caught 47 balls for 765 yards and four touchdowns. Clearly, he had arrived.
In two more years with the Colts, Garçon posted more than 1,700 yards and 12 TDs. Then, in 2012, he left Indy to sign with the Redskins as a free agent. Since arriving in Washington, he had one standout season in 2013 (113 catches for 1,346 yards and 5 TDs).
After that year, his role in Washington diminished somewhat when the Redskins signed DeSean Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed emerged as a top-flight receiving threat. This year, with Kirk Cousins cemented in his role as the QB of a pass-heavy offense, Garçon is again showing how good he can be.
"There’s no doubt that Pierre still has that ability to go down the field and still has that speed that was brought here to have four or five years ago. So he hasn’t really lost that as he’s gotten older, which is a testament to the way he works in the offseason, the way he continues to take care of himself," Cousins said. "He is very versatile in that way where he can give you a lot of different routes in the pass game. He’s not one-dimensional."
Much has been discussed about the Redskins coming free agency decisions with both Garçon and Jackson. Each receiver brings a specific threat, Jackson with elite speed and Garçon with his all-around game.
For Cousins, perhaps not enough has been said about Garçon.
"He’s a very explosive athlete so there’s also some natural ability there that you can’t coach that when he does run his routes, he gets in and out of cuts in a very powerful, explosive way that is unique to him. And pound for pound he could be the most powerful, explosive guy on the team with the athleticism that he has."
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