Kirk Cousins threw a costly interception in the third quarter against the Bears on Sunday. With the Redskins clinging to a 21-14 lead Cousins went to Pierre Garçon, who had run a deep out to the right sideline. Cousins said after the game that he didn’t see cornerback Kyle Fuller, who came in and picked off the pass. After Fuller returned it to the 21 it took the Bears three plays to tie the game at 21.
On Monday, Jay Gruden came down on Cousins a bit for the interception. “I think he could have gotten a lot from the pre-snap recognition of where the corner was and the coverage,” said Gruden. “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.”
It’s apparent that Gruden had this discussion with Cousins as well as with the media. On Wednesday, Cousins was asked what he had seen when he reviewed the play on film.
“It’s not so much, ‘I have to see him.’ I think it is, ‘If you don’t see him, don’t throw it.’ I think going forward you continue to feel like, ‘Hey, if you’re throwing a ball blind, progress and move to the next receiver in the progression or check it down to your outlet to a halfback.’ That would be the coaching point there and you continue to learn from those, just try to avoid throwing a ball that feels like it may be a little blind."
It’s really a matter of changing what you assume. Cousins didn’t see Fuller and assumed that he wasn’t in the area. Based on the coverage, he has to assume that Fuller is there.
After throwing eight interceptions in the first six games of the season he has thrown just three in the last seven. He appears to be learning and we will see if he can continue to do so.