Now that the dust has settled on the Redskins quarterback decision, it's time to look at Kirk Cousins in-depth, again. Even though most fans already "know" what Washington has in Cousins because of how well his penchant for turnovers has been documented, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't take a look at the film. Before I even address the Xs and Os, something stood out to me while watching film against the Baltimore Ravens; leadership qualities. Leadership doesn't affect stats or show up in the record books but it can be just as, if not more, influential on games. Let's take a look:It's 3rd and 9 and Jordan Reed is the primary target here. The fly route down the sideline is designed as a clear out so Jordan Reed has ample room to work and get the Redskins a first down. The fly route clears out the sideline but Jordan Reed cuts his route a little short of the sticks. Jordan Reed makes an amazing, diving catch but it's short of the sticks and results in a 4th down. Instead of walking off the field in disappointment, Kirk Cousins jogs right over to Jordan Reed, talks about depth of the route and gives him some words of encouragement. That's good to see. On this play, the receivers are running a screen but don't appear to know which screen they are running. Jamison Crowder looks to be executing a smoke screen while Ryan Grant looks to be executing a bubble screen. When he sees Ryan Grant goes out to block, Crowder throws his hands up because he thought it was a smoke screen and he was suppose to block that CB while Grant was the intended target. Crowder looks back at Cousins like "What just happened?" Cousins jogs over to Crowder and gives him a pat on the back with words of encouragement for him and Grant like it's not the end of the world and they'll correct it.
Regardless of your opinion on the matter, Kirk Cousins is now at the helm and this is encouraging to see. Being able to motivate the players around you is part of being a great leader and is something Cousins has never lacked. He has his flaws like anyone else but part of his foundation is built on leadership and is a sturdy building block. Check out the video below of Cousins talking about his definition of leadership at the 4:15 mark.
[UPDATE - Pierre Garcon also praised Cousins' leadership shortly after we posted this.]
Pierre Garcon: Kirk Cousins is 'a natural-born leader' http://t.co/pveQwP4I9X— Around The NFL (@AroundTheNFL) September 2, 2015