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“I think anytime a quarterback gets the reps that Kirk is getting right now, he develops,” coach Mike Shanahan said. “That’s what we’re looking forward to him doing, is developing during these OTAs. And with the extra added reps that he’s getting, you can see the progression in his game.”

Cousins’ progression includes not just more knowledge of the offense but comfort as the leader of the offense. His being at ease with that role has more to do with experience than Griffin’s injury.

“I think I’ve asserted myself more just as a result of no longer being a rookie,” Cousins said. “I’m not the low man on the totem pole. This is now my second time around the block, so it gives confidence regardless if I was with the 1s or the 2s. It’s very important as a quarterback to have confidence and when you’re with the 1s to be able to play at a high level and step in and get the job done.”

In completing 68.8 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and three interceptions as a rookie, Cousins showed he could get the job done, at least in spot duty. That’s part of why he doesn’t look out of place leading the way at OTAs.

“He’s being Kirk,” Williams said. “Kirk’s always been a good quarterback, a good leader, a good voice in the huddle. We’re not missing a step.”