When Mike Shanahan drafted both Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in 2012, the coach thought both quarterbacks could become stars. While his opinion on RG3 has somewhat swayed since, Shanahan remains high on Cousins' future.
"I think Kirk Cousins will be a big time player for a lot of years in the National Football League," the coach said during an interview with 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny show.
After their rookie seasons, RG3 and Cousins were both hot commodities, even though Griffin was rehabbing an injured knee. His first season, Cousins looked solid in relief appearances for RG3 and in one start. Many thought Cousins could land Washington a good haul in a trade, some even speculated a first round pick return.
In the seasons since, some of Cousins shine has dissipated as the quarterback has shown a proclivity to turn the ball over. In eight starts between the 2013 and 2014 seasons, Cousins has thrown 16 interceptions. Things got particularly bad last September for Cousins when he threw four interceptions in one loss to the New York Giants.
Still, his former coach remains unbowed.
"I've seen it first hand what he can do. Once he gets a team with a little balance he will have a very succesful NFL career," Shanahan said.
Shanahan explained that not all of Cousins turnover problems are his fault, and that if the Redskins committed to the run game, his numbers would look better. Additionally, when Cousins is at his best he can throw the ball like some of the best passers in the NFL. Shanahan specifically mentioned a Redskins loss last September to the Eagles when Cousins threw for 427 yards on 30 of 48 passes with three touchdowns and one interception.
Asked why Redskins GM Scot McCloughan said he got no phone calls for trades on Cousins, Shanahan said, "I'm not surprised."
The former coach explained that teams around the league look at Cousins TD/INT ratio and are scared away. For Shanahan, perception doesn't matter, he knows what Cousins can do.
Agree with the former coach on Cousins? Let us know what you think in the comments.