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.
Here is what you need to know on this Monday, May 29, 15 days before the Washington Redskins start their mandatory minicamp on June 13.
—Training camp starts (7/27) 59
—Preseason opener @ Ravens (8/10) 73
—Season opener Eagles @ Redskins (9/10) 104
How do the Redskins stack up against the rest of the NFC East?
A few words on the state of the NFC East and how the Redskins stack up to their rivals after all of them had active offseasons.
Need to Know Monday 05.29.17
Need to Know for Monday, 05.29.17Posted by Rich Tandler on Monday, May 29, 2017
When the Redskins won the NFC East in 2015 with a 9-7 record, most critics dismissed the division as weak. That theory was largely proved right when the Redskins got stomped at home in the first round of the playoffs by the Wild Card Green Bay Packers.
In 2016, however, the NFC East largely looked like the best division in football, or at least among the best divisions. Dallas won 13 games and took the NFC East title, the Giants won 11 and took the NFC's top Wild Card spot. The Redskins had a chance to make the playoffs in Week 17, but unceremoniously lost and fell short.
Still, Washington won eight games and Philadelphia won seven. In fact, the NFC East was the only division in the NFL without a team that lost 10 or more games. The AFC West - a division that some would argue was tougher than the NFC East - still had the Chargers and their 5-11 record.
What does it mean for 2017? If anything the only team expected to regress would be the Cowboys, and their regression could easily still have them looking to win around 10 games.
The Eagles have improved with young, star QB Carson Wentz. New York will be interesting, as they have some age at various spots on their roster but still feature a two-time Super Bowl winning QB in Eli Manning and one of the best defenses in the NFL.
As for Washington? The defense should be much improved. It almost has to be as the 2016 version struggled significantly. If the defense can just be average (and I'd argue it could push for Top 15) the offense should continue to move the ball well. Producing in the red zone needs to look different than last season too.
The NFC East looks like a beast yet again. It would be no surprise if both NFC Wild Cards come from the division.
Let us know what you think in the comments.
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