- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 4, 2018

RICHMOND — Adam Turner walked into the Washington Redskins’ training camp site in Richmond still wearing his Kirk Cousins jersey. But that was only because his Alex Smith version was still in his online shopping cart.

“I just haven’t ordered it yet,” the Charlottesville, Virginia, native said.

Turner’s sentiment was reflected throughout those attending the team’s Fan Appreciation Day on Saturday. For the most part, they appreciated what Cousins had given to the organization. But Smith is the quarterback now, and fans intend to back the new veteran under center.

In an informal poll of 40 fans entering the complex, 29 preferred Smith compared to 11 who still wished Cousins was quarterback. Of course, Smith is the only realistic option since Cousins departed in the offseason for the Minnesota Vikings.

Still, some fans were adamant in favor of the new gunslinger.

“Alex Smith is a proven veteran,” Bernard Arrington, of Roanoke, Virginia, said. “His record speaks for itself. You compare his record with Kirk Cousins, and there’s no comparison.”

Here is that record, in terms of wins to losses with Smith or Cousins in charge: Cousins has 26 wins in 57 starts and Smith has 88 wins in 151 starts. Smith has been a part of six playoff teams. Cousins has been twice. Smith has two playoff wins and Cousins has none.

Last year, Smith and Cousins threw 26 and 27 touchdowns, respectively. Smith threw five interceptions while Cousins tossed 13. Smith edged Cousins by three completion percentage points.

“Alex Smith is more athletic and in control. I used to hate him when he was on the 49ers, but he’s more seasoned now,” said Omar Smith, a Redskins fan since 1980. “Kirk is mistake-prone and everything he did wasn’t natural. The coaching staff didn’t trust him.”

There will always be a portion of fans who prefer Cousins, though. Don Powell, from Bridgewater, Virginia, wonders about Smith’s longevity. Smith is five years older than Cousins.

Cousins chose to leave via free agency, so some fans are vexed he didn’t want to finish what he started with Washington. The Redskins, however, traded for Smith before Cousins hit free agency. 

Cousins, of course, signed a three-year, $84 million with the Vikings, making him the highest-paid player in the league. Smith agreed to a four-year, $94 million deal after he joined the Redskins from Kansas City.

Regardless of whom fans prefer, Smith, barring injury, will be Washington’s starter for its Sept. 9 opener. Fred Hipple is keeping an open mind for Smith’s tenure with the Redskins before he decides who he prefers between the former and current quarterback.

“He’s gotta prove me wrong first,” Hipple said, a Chincoteague Island, Virginia, native. “Kirk already did.”

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