BALTIMORE—Kirk Cousins only played six snaps before leaving the preseason opener with about 11 minutes left in the first quarter. That gave him plenty of time to come up with the message he would deliver after the game was over.
The message was that the poor performance of the offense was a “wake-up call.” The quarterback used that exact phrase four times in a session with the media that lasted about five minutes. He expressed the same concept in different ways on some other occasions.
“It was a good wake-up call for us to need to play better going forward.”
“I think it’s a wake-up call.”
“I think that could be a good thing in the long run, a wake-up call, could be the best thing we need right now.”
“All around the board, everybody can go back and say, ‘I could have done this or that better’.”
“Again, good wake-up call for us and I think it will give us a sense of urgency as we get ready for the next game.”
“No one is going to come to practice on Saturday feeling like they’ve got it make or that they have it figured out, that the game’s easy.”
“If it is fixed we can point back at this night as a night that got us going in the right direction.”
I don’t know how seriously we should take the double three-and-out performance that the Redskins’ offense put on. We often see an offense struggle for a few series to get on its feet and then roll the rest of the game. However, sometimes a slow start can put you in a quick hole.
“We always talk about starting fast and you can’t wait until the second or third quarter to get going,” said Cousins. “Many times in the NFL that won’t be enough time. We want to start fast and we probably didn’t do enough tonight to start fast.”
Even though the first-team offense was only six plays, Cousins thinks it can be a learning experience.
“We’ll take a lot of things from this game,” he said. “Every game we got out, every practice, every rep we take we learn something.”
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Cousins did note that the Ravens came with some blitzes and stunts that they were not ready to handle. In the preseason, it is typical to bypass any sort of scouting or preparation for the specific opponent, focusing instead on fundamentals and keeping the plays simple. However, Cousins said that the team still must be ready to play.
“We still need to put a good product on the field regardless of what we face or how little we prepare or what our playbook is,” he said. “That just comes down to execution, it comes to guys being on the details and there wasn’t one phase of the game or one position that can walk away saying, ‘we had a great night tonight.’ All around the board, everybody can go back and say, ‘I could have done this or that better.’”
The Redskins will get back to working on “this or that” on Saturday and Sunday in Richmond. After that, preparations move to Redskins Park. Following their next preseason game against the Packers, they will have just three weeks left to get ready for Week 1, when the Eagles come to town.