Two things stood about Kirk Cousins's breakout 2015 season: His record-setting performance and those extrovert moments.
One reminder from the quarterback's wife helped in both areas.
In a recent interview with Bleacher Report's Jason Cole, which led with inevitable talk about Cousins' contract status, the Q&A shifted to that organic and outgoing "You like that" moment following a franchise-best comeback against Tampa Bay in Week 7.
"I would say it was me being me", Cousins explained.
That version isn't the one always shown in public. It is apparently one that his wife, Julie, knows and from a time before he quarterback turned pro.
"My wife has said to me before, 'I want to see a Michigan State Kirk' that was more intense and more sure of himself and more confident," Cousins said.
After being named the starter ahead of the 2015 campaign following three seasons serving as Washington's backup quarterback to Robert Griffin III, Cousins was ready to unleash that outgoing part of his football personality.
"I told her it takes time. That side of me came out late in my college career when I had been around the block and had proven myself and was pretty confident with what I could do and what I have done," Cousins said. "I knew that there were times early in my career, year one, year two, year three even where I wasn't there yet. So maybe that moment in the Bucs game was a moment when I had started to get to where I wanted to be as far as learning how to play the position of a quarterback in the NFL, and that side of me started to come out."
Cousins, now in his first offseason as the team's starter, talked about the idea of taking ownership of the offense last month.
"So, you just try to you know, handle it the right way and now as a starter you really can take ownership and it feels like it did back in college when you were the starting quarterback and had the chance to really assert yourself so I enjoy being able to do that and I think it helps me as a quarterback to have ownership because at the end of the day, I am the one holding the football in my hands."
If OTAs are any indication, "Michigan State Kirk" is under center for the 2016 season and the Redskins may have words from Julie Cousins' to thank for that.
By the way, if you see the Cousins' around or feeling like dropping them a note on social media, the happy couple will be celebrating their two-year wedding anniversary June 28. Don't feel the need to send them gifts. We've been down that route before.
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