Kirk Cousins grew up in the Chicago suburbs dreaming of someday suiting up for the Bears.On Saturday night, hell get the chance to play quarterback at Soldier Field as a member of the Redskins, not the home team.Its neat to come full circle, to grow up around the Chicago Bears as a fan and now to be able to play against them, said Cousins, the Redskins fourth round draft pick in April.Some of Cousins best memories as a youngster are of attending Bears games with his father. Over the years, Don Cousins, a minister, hosted a prayer sessions with Bears greats Mike Singletary and Leslie Frazier, Kirk Cousins said.I told Rex I was a Bears fan growing up, Cousins said of Redskins backup quarterback Rex Grossman, Chicagos first round draft pick in 2003. I remember when he was drafted. I was quarterback in middle school at the time, and I was excited to hear that the Bears had drafted a quarterback.I remember as a junior in high school driving down on a Sunday night with my Dad for a game against the Falcons, Cousins recalled about Chicago 16-3 victory over Atlanta in December 2005. Rex was injured and he came in during the second half and led a comeback. Michael Vick was the quarterback of the Falcons. I think it was negative 5 degrees that day.Cousins wont start the Redskins second preseason game in his hometown. That distinction will belong to fellow rookie Robert Griffin III, who is scheduled to play the entire first half with Washingtons starters. In the second half, Cousins said he expects to get a quite a few snaps in front of a large contingent of family and friends.On the field, Cousins hopes to be as comfortable. The 23-year-old completed 9-of-22 pass attempts for 74 yards and an interception in the Redskins 7-6 victory over the Bills last week.Cousins is listed as the Redskins third quarterback behind Griffin and Grossman, but hes a lock to make the 53-man roster. Cousins is being groomed to be Griffins full-time backup next season.It takes a game or two to tighten things up, gain some confidence in the guys around and know where they are going to be and what they are going to do, he said. I feel good about this game.Playing well and seeing some familiar faces arent all Cousins is looking forward to, however. According to a post on his Twitter account Thursday night, hes also jonesing for a slice of deep dish from his favorite Chicago area Pizzeria.Excited to play at Soldier Field Sat night born & raised in the Chicago suburbs, Cousins tweeted. Perrys Pizza in Park Ridge is callin my name.
Judging by the small sample size that the NFL preseason has become it looks like the Redskins’ starting defense is ready to go for the start of the NFL season.
The Redskins’ opponents had six possessions with their staring quarterbacks in the lineup, which usually means that those teams had all of their healthy starters in the game. In those six possessions the Redskins’ opponents mustered 53 yards of total offense.
As far as the starting quarterbacks, the Redskins didn’t face anyone who is bound for Canton five years after retirement. But there wasn’t a Case Keenum in the group either. Tyrod Taylor, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Matt Ryan combined to complete six of 18 passes for 46 yards with no interceptions and no touchdowns. That comes to a combined passer rating of 33.3.
This is a major improvement over the 2015 preseason when starting quarterbacks were much sharper against the Redskins’ defense. Josh McCown, Matthew Stafford, and Joe Flacco completed 19 of 26 passes for 248 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. That’s a passer rating of 73.1. That’s not stellar but still effective.
This year the other teams apparently wanted to get the QBs some work and didn’t run a lot. The Redskins gave up 36 rushing yards on eight attempts. That’s an average of 4.5 yards per attempt. Over a year that would be an improvement over last year (4.8 per carry) but still well above the league average (4.1).
It’s hard to overemphasize the small sample sizes involved here. It would be a mistake to draw any sweeping conclusions from a few dozen snaps. But among the goals of the preseason are to look competent and, as Jay Gruden said, create some “positive vibrations”. The Redskins defense can check the boxes next to both of those.
After days of speculation if Bryan Stork would actually end up in Washington, the former Patriots center clarified his next move via Twitter.
Redskins GM Scot McCloughan traded for Stork earlier this week after it became apparent New England intended to release the 2014 draft pick out of Florida State. It was unclear, however, if Stork would accept the trade to the 'Skins as he mulled retirement options.
Stork has dealt with a number of concussions in his two-year NFL career. After playing in a Super Bowl as a rookie, his 2015 season was limited by head injuries.
Coming to the Redskins, Stork may have an opportunity to compete for playing time. Kory Lichtensteiger is installed as the starting center, but he struggled in the third preseason game against the Bills and was lost for much of the 2015 season to injury.
McCloughan has openly said he wants big, tough guys up front on the offensive line. Stork - at 6-foot-4 and 310 lbs. - with a documented nasty streak definitely fits that bill.
Whether or not Stork pushes Lichtensteiger for the starting spot - or even competes for the No. 2 center job with Spencer Long - the price for Stork is tough to argue. McCloughan gave up just a conditional seventh round pick to acquire the former New England starter.
The Redskins have started the process of trimming their roster to 75 players by the Tuesday deadline. The team announced that 10 players have been waived.
- T Al Bond
- T Cody Booth
- LB Shiro Davis
- LB Ejiro Ederaine
- CB Jeremy Harris
- LB Willie Jefferson
- WR Valdez Showers
- WR Dez Stewart
- WR Jarvis Turner
- RB Kelsey Young
The only surprise on the list is Jefferson, who was thought to have a chance at an outside linebacker spot. But apparently the coaches are going to let Houston Bates and Lynden Trail compete for that spot.
The Redskins had 88 players counting against the 90 player limit. So with the 10 players cut today they are a 78, leaving three moves to make before 4 p.m. on Tuesday.