As trade rumors swirled during the offseason, Kirk Cousins began to come to terms with the fact that he could be spending his 2014 season in Cleveland.
Instead, the Redskins chose not to ship out their backup quarterback and kept him in Washington.
"I think all offseason, there was that possibility," Cousins said. "But my wife and I were going to roll with whatever happened. We feel very good about being here. I think when it became clear that it wasn't going to happen, we felt just fine about being back in Washington. We really like it here."
Cousins has been the subject of trade rumors since the Redskins drafted both he and Robert Griffin III in 2012. Reports earlier this summer indicated that the Browns were the only team to seriously inquire about prying Cousins away, though their offer of a fourth-round draft pick was significantly less than the Redskins' asking price.
Such a trade would have reunited Cousins with Kyle Shanahan, who was the Redskins' offensive coordinator for the last four seasons and now holds the same position in Cleveland.
Shanahan will make his return to the area for the first time Monday, when the Redskins host the Browns in a preseason game at FedEx Field.
"I had a great relationship with Kyle," Cousins said. "I thought he was a good coach. He knew his stuff, and I think he'll do good things for Cleveland."
Cousins said he appreciated the passion Shanahan had for the game and his football knowledge. Shanahan has often been regarded as one of the brightest young minds in coaching, especially with regards the schemes he'd draw and the plays he'd call.
"I always felt like he was putting me in a good position to be successful, and his play-calling and his preparation gave me a chance," Cousins said. "And as a young player, you need that because it's hard yourself to know the game inside and out. You're still learning as a young player. Kyle was able to bridge that gap to where I was able to be successful, or at least felt like he gave me a chance to be successful."
Though he hasn't watched what the Browns have done with their quarterbacks – rookie Johnny Manziel and Brian Hoyer, Cousins' former teammate at Michigan State – Cousins said the same type of offense the Redskins ran with Griffin "would probably be effective for Johnny as well."
Manziel said earlier in training camp that picking up the offense has been "a process," and Cousins said he could understand how the rookie quarterback could be having trouble with Shanahan's terminology.
"It goes back to what you're used to in college," Cousins said. "I think that some of the best systems in college are more simple and don't have as much verbiage and as a result, if you come to a system in the NFL that does, it's a tough transition. But you can make the transition. He's a guy who's smart enough to make it. It just takes time. It's not going to happen overnight.
"I think Kyle's a little more wordy, but that's what I was used to at Michigan State. It's really all I've known, so every quarterback, whether it's Cam Newton at Auburn or Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M, they'll learn it in time."
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