Mike Shanahan's decision to draft Kirk Cousins just three rounds after taking Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL Draft was one that had people asking questions almost immediately. But for Shanahan, passing up on a quarterback he thought highly of wasn't an option — despite the fact that RG3 was made the Redskins' No. 2 overall pick just a few days earlier.
Over the next two years, the Shanahan-Griffin-Cousins dynamic was an odd one, and fueled more than its fair share of controversy in D.C. And at the end of the 2013 season — which would prove to be the former Super Bowl winner's last as Washington's headman — Shanahan finally opted to bench Griffin in favor of Cousins, seemingly confirming what many had thought all along: He preferred the Michigan State product over the Baylor one.
So, ever since being fired as the Redskins coach after that 3-13 campaign, Shanahan has sporadically continued his support of Cousins. Therefore, it's no surprise that after Washington's Monday announcement that Cousins would be the starter in 2015, Shanahan again praised his former signal caller.
"Kirk Cousins is a franchise QB," the coach said in a phone interview, according to NFL Network's Dan Hellie. "He will be a top 10 QB in this league, no doubt about it."
Cousins is entering his fourth NFL season and has only started nine games, so his status as a "franchise" passer is still very much up in the air. But when he takes the field in Week 1 against the Dolphins and tries to solidify himself in the league's hierarchy of quarterbacks, we know of at least one man who'll be pulling for him.
MORE REDSKINS: RG3's Redskin career: How did we get to where we are today?