Just because Kirk Cousins is taking the time to get advice from his quarterbacking peers does not guarantee that he’ll have a hall of fame career. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even guarantee that the newly wealthy quarterback won’t suffer a setback during the 2016 season.
But the guy’s willingness to ask others for help sure does improve his chances of not being a one year wonder.
Being open to advice from former QBs, as well as passes still playing at a high level in the NFL, shows what kind of player Washington has leading their franchise.
It would be easy for Cousins to sit back and enjoy the offseason like most guys. After all the NFL is a grind. So it’s understandable that players want to relax when there’s no games looming.
We all know that’s not how champions go about their business though. Peyton Manning didn’t spend his 18 NFL summers lounging on a beach or making 58 different Papa John’s commercials. #18 was doing something football related day in and day out.
It’s that daily rhythm of improving that separates elite quarterbacks from the “just good” ones. Cousins could have easily got the big head, resting on his 2015 laurels of 29 touchdowns and 101 passer rating. That’s the best way to let someone else rip your gig….by getting comfortable.
Cousins’ job is safe next year, with the Redskins sticking the franchise tag on him, which guarantees him a base salary of over $19 million. But he knows how quickly his QB1 status can be erased.
He’s been part of the musical chairs of Washington’s quarterback situation for a couple years.
He also witnessed first hand how fast a star quarterback can fall from grace. Cousins had a front row seat for the demise of former Rookie of the Year, RGIII. Making calls around the League to elite passers is one way to decrease the chances that Cousins suffers the same fate as RGIII.
Heck even Johnny Manziel is now known more for getting into the gossip columns than an NFL lockerroom.
Everyone knows that quarterback is the hardest position in all of sports. That’s why they get paid so well. There are so few passers that are truly worth their salary.
We’ve seen many one-year wonders before. A passer can get hot for a half season stretch and fool fans into thinking they have a franchise quarterback.
Franchise QBs are not just born. They have to mold themselves into leaders capable of putting their team in position to win a Super Bowl each and every year.
That’s not accomplished by basking in the glory of what they did last season. Past glory is soon forgotten in the NFL.
Just ask Tom Brady, whose ability was actually questioned during the same season that he ended up leading his Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl win.
Kirk Cousins is not an elite quarterback yet, although his numbers from 2015 were at the top of the heap. It takes daily dedication to his craft in order to stay on top.
Defensive coordinators will be looking at film of Cousins all summer long. His ability is not a secret anymore, and he now has a target on his back.
The only chance he has of repeating his 2015 success is to level up in every way possible. His willingness to seek help from other quarterbacks says a lot about his understanding of his limitations as a young player.
It says even more about his dedication to the game of football. It sure would be easy to get comfortable this summer knowing he has nearly $20 million dollars coming to him, no matter how he plays in 2016.