<
>

How Kirk Cousins' 'You like that?!' became a Washington rallying cry

play
Cousins, Rodgers lead their offenses (1:12)

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins' surrounding talent has helped him be hotter than Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers down the stretch. (1:12)

ASHBURN, Virginia -- The mantra for the 2015 Washington Redskins and their quarterback, Kirk Cousins, wouldn't be seen by most of us until moments after it happened; after the video was posted to Vine, then shared, tweeted and retweeted. For CSN Mid-Atlantic reporter Tarik El-Bashir, he experienced it the old-fashioned way: in front of his face ... or more accurately, at his face.

"My job after every game is to interview players live on our air," El-Bashir explained last week. "Our set is actually between where the players exit the field and the locker room."

The "set" also doubles as a large hallway that encompasses the underbelly of FedEx Field. Only players, personnel and media pass through.

"This one day I was standing there, minding my own business. Our camera was actually right in front of me, so I'm back against the wall looking at my notes. And I look up because there was a gap between the first group of players and the second group of players. I looked up and Kirk Cousins is looking dead at me. Like, right at me. And he just starts yelling, 'You like that?! You like that?!' And I started laughing."

Cousins had just rallied the Redskins from a 24-0 deficit to beat the Buccaneers 31-30 in Week 7. It was the largest comeback in franchise history.

At the other end of the hallway, Redskins defensive end Chris Baker was following closely behind.

"After we came back from behind against the Bucs, one of the biggest comebacks in Redskins history, I was walking behind him," Baker said. "When Kirk came off the field and said, 'You like that?!,' I was like, 'Hey, I like that.'"

Baker is now one of the team's most enthusiastic "You Like That!?" supporters -- pointing at cameras, photo-bombing interviews and leading fans all while doing the chant. Baker has an infectious laugh that follows each time he says it himself.

"It surprised me, because he is kinda quiet," he said. "Normally when you see the quarterback, you think of a big vocal guy, but Kirk is not really a vocal leader. He is a great leader for our team, but being the loud guy is just not his personality. For him to come out of his soft shell ... it's like, wow."

That said, others can speak to a surprising intensity the QB is known to possess. Apparently the phrase is nothing new either.

"I have seen him yell, 'You like that?!' at [Redskins general manager] Scot McCloughan," El-Bashir said. "He has this fire about him; he's not necessarily the most outspoken leader in that locker room, but he has this smoldering, fiery side to him."

"It goes all the way back into camp down in Richmond," Baker added. "When Kirk was the backup quarterback, he had done something good against the first team, he looked back at Coach Gruden and said, 'You like that! You like that don't you?'"

"And we all would get pissed off, like Kirk would you shut up? You're the backup man, leave us alone, man."

But where did it come from?

"I don't know where it came from," Cousins said. "If I did hear it from someone else, I wouldn't be able to remember enough to cite them. It honestly just came out of having a chip on your shoulder, trying to prove yourself and having a lot of passion.

"I think it's been a good rallying cry for our team. Looking back at a great accomplishment, just saying, 'You like that.' It's a stamp of approval on a good performance, kinda two thumbs up."

For El-Bashir, one thought still lingers. "I wonder if, in 20 years in this business, this is the way I'm going to be remembered: that my biggest achievement was Kirk Cousins, yelling at me, in his first season as a starter. I'd be OK with that."

Jim Trotter contributed to this story.

Tory Zawacki is an associate producer for Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN.