Training camp countdown: Redskins QB Kirk Cousins maintaining his confidence against that defense

Breaking Burgundy examines the key issues heading into training camp, which begins July 28 in Richmond. Next up, new ground for Kirk Cousins.

by Emmanual Benton, special to Breaking Burgundy

After opting not to sign Kirk Cousins long-term, it appears another evaluation season is on tap for the Washington Redskins' starting quarterback. However, there is one major difference compared to last season.

For the first time in his four-year career, Cousins will head into training camp having already secured the starting job. It will be interesting to see if that job security helps take his game to the next level. From a mental standpoint, it should certainly be a confidence booster for Cousins. But don't be surprised if he has his share of "down days" in Richmond during Training Camp. 
One reason, the Redskins defense. With the acquisition of cornerback Josh Norman and the return of pass rusher Junior Galette, Washington's passing offense will have its hands full. The addition of those two players will have a trickle effect at their respective positions. Norman's bookend, Bashaud Breeland, will want to show the new guy and the coaching staff he can take the next step this year. Preston Smith, part of the outside linebacker crew with Galette, could potentially be a freak show in camp. 
That's a lot of talent and personalities on that side of the ball, which is why it will be interesting to see how Kirk Cousins responds.
It won't be easy for Cousins. But, of course, that could be a very good thing for the QB.  The Redskins are looking for Cousins to elevate his game both mentally and physically. He has to become that alpha-male who commands respect from opposing teams. Cousins also has to become more creative when plays break down and just improve his overall game. That will all start in training camp. 
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You can find Emmanuel on Twitter @manny_benton.

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