- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins set a franchise record for passing yards and nearly tied the team’s mark for passing touchdowns this past season.

That, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Wednesday, is the Redskins’ reward for sticking behind Cousins despite a slow start.

“I didn’t really study him throughout the whole season, but just knowing [his performance as of] late, I would just say my general comment to that is that he’s been given a full opportunity,” McCarthy said. “I think you’ve seen a young quarterback progress through the season. He handles the line of scrimmage pretty good, just the mannerisms and the things that are a part of that breakdown, I think he does a very nice job. He takes command of the offense and he’s got weapons and a good offensive line.”

Cousins finished the season with 4,166 passing yards, topping the 4,109 yards gained by Jay Schroeder in 1986. He threw 29 touchdown passes, tied for second behind the 31 thrown by Sonny Jurgensen in 1967. His 69.8 completion percentage led the league, and he was the first player in team history to throw a touchdown pass in every regular-season game since the schedule was expanded to 16 games in 1978.

He did all that despite throwing two interceptions in four of the Redskins’ first six games, each of which were losses. Cousins threw just three more interceptions the remainder of the season.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers also praised Washington for being patient with Cousins through that early stretch.

“I think the thing that’s admirable is the way the organization stuck with him,” Rodgers said. “For a young quarterback, say, this year, as opposed to my first year, I think there’s even more pressure and less job security for coaches and general managers as we’re seeing in quarterbacks. To stick with him and allow him to play and continue to get better, gives you, as a quarterback, a lot of confidence. He’s obviously paid some of that confidence back with his strong play.”

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