Kirk Cousins begins offseason life as QB1

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
12:21
PM ET
Kirk Cousins does not know if he'll have to start a game, two games or any number of games in 2013 while Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III recovers from knee surgery. What Cousins does know is that he'll be the team's No. 1 quarterback through most if not all of the offseason program. And for that reason, he's moved in with his 80-year-old grandmother in Chicago so he can work with his trainer there. Per Rich Campbell:
Cousins believes his greatest challenge this offseason involves asserting himself as a leader without usurping Griffin’s role, given that Griffin is determined to return for the start of the regular season but isn’t guaranteed to meet that deadline.

“Now, in terms of my presence in the locker room and that kind of a thing, I’ll probably try to be a little more vocal so that I don’t come across to my teammates as somebody who’s afraid of that role or not comfortable in that role,” Cousins said. “It’ll be an interesting balance to have to walk because obviously I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, but I also need to be ready if called upon.”

Obviously, any games Griffin misses -- be they preseason or regular season -- stand as opportunities for Cousins to show other teams what he can do in a competitive environment. And as someone who believes he's capable of being a starter in the NFL but is stuck behind a franchise superstar in Washington, those opportunities are exactly what Cousins wants.

At some point a year or so down the road (certainly not soon, as the importance of depth at the quarterback position is obviously being driven home in Washington), the Redskins could look to trade Cousins for a high draft pick to a team that's seen him play in his backup role and believes he could be a starter. That's the ideal outcome for all parties involved. But in terms of the 2013 season, right now, Cousins' importance to the Redskins is about as high as it can be.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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