Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has been named the co-recipient of the Most Improved Player Award by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Panthers cornerback Josh Norman was the other recipient of the award decided in voting by the PFWA.
Cousins had a rough go if it in 2014. He took over as the starter at quarterback after Robert Griffin III was injured in Week 2. In five starts he threw for 1,700 yards and 10 touchdowns but he had problems with ball security. Cousins threw nine interceptions including four in one game against the Giants and then three more against the Cardinals. He was benched at halftime of his sixth start and didn’t see the field the rest of the year. Some thought that we would never see Cousins on the field in a Redskins uniform again.
But about two weeks before the 2015 season starter, coach Jay Gruden made the surprising announcement that “It’s Kirk’s team.” The fourth-year player took it and ran with it.
After a slow start (six TD’s, eight INT’s in the first six games), Cousins caught fire. He finished the season with a Redskins-record 4,166 passing yards, completing a league-leading 69.8 percent of his passes with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, and a passer rating of 101.6. Cousins was named the NFC offensive player of the month in Weeks 7 and 10 and was the conference offensive player of the month for December.
The Redskins also improved in 2015, going from 4-12 and dead last in the division to 9-7 and NFC East champions thanks in part to Cousins’ performance.