Colt McCoy readily admits that being a backup isn’t glamorous work, but the Redskins quarterback says he’s learned over the past year to embrace helping Kirk Cousins prepare for Sunday’s matchup.

“Kirk is very in tune to his responsibility and his role as a quarterback, especially what he’s required to do,” McCoy said on SiriusXM NFL Radio recently. “He’s going to study. He’s going to prepare. He really knows his stuff going into each week, knows the game plan inside and out.”

“So,” McCoy continued, “I try to help him as much as I can. If maybe he’s studying third downs for a couple of days, I may help get a head start on the red zone and kind of give him a heads up on, ‘Hey, here’s their top coverages, here’s their top pressures,’ as he kind of gets going. Or maybe on Saturday night, I’ll type up [some] quick notes [on], ‘Hey, here’s what I think they’re going to do based off my film study’…and see if it matches up with his.”


But, as McCoy acknowledged, comparing notes with Cousins is a fine line he must straddle each week.


“You don’t want to give him too much information because you know he’s prepared, and he’ll always be prepared,” McCoy said. “But you also want to be an extra set of eyes for him during the game and during the week.”

McCoy added: “On the flip side of that, you get no [first team practice] reps, so all that study and all that preparation goes into getting you get prepared to play [if called upon]. It’s a unique situation, but I do feel like our room is doing really well right now.”

A seventh-year pro who turns 30 a week before the opener, McCoy signed a three-year, $9 million contract extension in March. He appeared in five games in 2014, including four starts, but saw limited action in only two games last season as Cousins seized the No. 1 job in August and never relinquished it.

McCoy knows that Cousins is the Redskins’ current and likely long-term solution at the position. But he has a high level of comfort in Jay Gruden’s offense and knows the coaching staff trusts him to be prepared, in the event he’s needed.

“It is not a real rewarding job, but at the same time I think your reward comes from if you are counted upon you can go out there and deliver,” McCoy said.  “And so that’s kind of what drives you, day-to-day, week-to-week. Last year, I didn’t really play until the last game of the season. And so, you want to go out there and just do so well because you’ve trained and worked and prepared and now you get an opportunity. And listen, we all want to play. I don’t think as a competitor that will ever go away from me. So, you have to find ways that you can compete with yourself, and prepare and always do the best you can to stay ready.”