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Five things to know about Kirk Cousins: From burgers to HGTV

ASHBURN, Va. -- Five things you might not know about Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins:

He loves the Shake Shack. Cousins was first introduced to this fast food chain when he attended the Super Bowl in New York two years ago and came across it on Times Square. He remembers two things: the long line and how good it tasted. Then Cousins discovered there were several Shake Shacks in the Washington, D.C., area. Before the Redskins hosted Tampa Bay in October, Cousins said he wanted to visit the Shake Shack after the game – but only if they won. “In the second quarter, it wasn’t looking too good,” he said. The Redskins trailed 24-0 in the second quarter before rallying to win so Cousins, his wife, some high school buddies and his in-laws piled into his conversion van and headed for Shake Shack. “It became a tradition,” Cousins said. He likes going to one of the two in the city, including one near Union Station. “I blend in pretty well,” he said. “There are usually a couple people who spot you. There are usually some opposing team's fans taking the train back to New York or Buffalo. They usually spot me.” Cousins’ go-to burger: the Double ShackBurger, a 770-calorie double cheeseburger. No shakes yet; that’ll happen in the offseason. But Cousins also said he probably shouldn’t eat such a meal after every game; it’s not the healthiest meal after all. For now, though, it’ll continue if they win. Ironically it started the same game when he shouted, “You like that!?” into a camera en route to the locker room. Turns out what Cousins liked later in the day was the burger. No, there are no endorsement deals pending. Yet.

He’s funny. Cousins showed his humor during his rookie skit in the 2012 training camp. He dressed up as then-coach Mike Shahanan, complete with loafers and a burgundy Redskins golf shirt. “He had the demeanor, never broke character. It was hilarious,” Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. A few days after the skit, Cousins had told reporters, “Guys were running up and down the aisles. Guys were giving us high fives. I had to wait for the laughter to die down before I hit my next joke." But it doesn’t end there. Cousins and offensive lineman Tom Compton are close friends and part of a group that constantly quotes lines from Lord of the Rings. But Compton and Cousins share love for another movie that wasn’t quite as popular: "The Other Guys." “Just hearing them talk about it, it’s funny,” Kerrigan said. “It’s a movie when I first saw it, I didn’t think it was that funny, but then they started talking about it more and I started watching it and I thought it was funnier. They’re good at rattling off the lines.”

He likes watching HGTV. The HGTV channel has become a favorite in the Cousins household. Two shows stand out for Cousins: Fixer Upper, starring Chip and Joanna Gaines and Vacation House for Free. “That’s kind of a cool dream of mine to have a place like that some day,” Cousins said of a vacation home. “It’s fun to dream and look at houses. Julie and I don’t own a home. We dream of owning a home one day so it’s fun to get ideas and it’s fun to dream.” Perhaps after this offseason Cousins and his wife will buy that first home. After all, he’s a pending free agent coming off his best season. The price tag likely will start at $17 million per year. With a strong playoff run? It’ll go higher. Maybe then Cousins will start watching another HGTV show: Island Hunters, where buyers seek their own private island.

His fashion game has improved. That’s the opinion of his teammates, and they’re not about to change their story. “You might have noticed, but since he married Julie [in 2014] his style game has been a lot smoother,” Redskins center Kory Lichtensteiger said. “He didn’t come [into the NFL] dressing like that. He’s dapper to say the least.” Then Lichtensteiger shared a little secret. “He’s one of the few guys I know that brings an outfit for the flight there and one for the flight home. Hopefully he thinks that’s funny and me not ratting on him. ... It’s everything. He doesn’t overlook anything [with fashion]. Or I should say Julie doesn’t overlook anything. It’s a change for the better.”

He’s ultra-prepared. That was the book on him even as a rookie and even now Cousins admitted he schedules his day in 15-minute increments. At the beginning of the season, he made a spreadsheet of every 15-minute increment of his life for all seven days of a week. It’s color coded, too. “Developing a weekly rhythm and a weekly routine enables you to turn your brain off and just go through the routine as opposed to having to say, ‘What’s next?’… I said, ‘All right, I’m in the cold tub at this time. I’m eating lunch at this time. On Mondays, it’s spend-time-with-my-wife time.’ I had it organized and the first few weeks you had to get used to that but now you have it down to a science.” That might stem from his upbringing. His father, Don, helped coach him at Holland Christian High School in Michigan where the head coach, Tim Lont, said, “We never had to worry about being prepared because those two guys are workers. His dad is Type-A driven and Kirk is a Type-A driven personality.”