- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Just days removed from the end of the 2017 season, Redskins fans are anxious for new installments in the franchise’s annual offseason soap opera, “The Days of Kirk Cousins’ Life.”

Fans will have to wait, the quarterback says.

“I’m in no hurry. The structure of the offseason and the way the league is set up, a lot of stuff happens in March and so that’s when I expect things to take place,” Cousins said in an interview Tuesday with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Tuesday. “Between now and then, I don’t wanna be spinning my wheels trying to get things done that aren’t going to get done, so I’m in no hurry.”

Set to address his future in greater length at a charity event hosted by Paulsen and Rouhier on Friday, Cousins spent the majority of Tuesday’s interview reflecting on a season in which Washington underperformed. Despite the team’s stumbles, the Michigan State product enjoyed plenty of individual success.

Cousins again cracked the Top 10 in several key statistical categories, including touchdown passes, passing yards, and completion percentage. He also became the first Redskin to reach 4,000 passing yards in three straight seasons, just the 11th quarterback in NFL history to achieve the milestone.

“I think the narrative after the last two seasons was that, ‘He’s dependent on having Pro Bowl receivers around him and a Pro Bowl tight end, and he won’t be able to do that if he doesn’t have that,’” Cousins said. “And with some of the injuries this year, and letting some guys go in free agency, that wasn’t the same story and yet we were still able to move the ball and be productive. That was where maybe I was able to show some growth as a player … every year I’ve gotten better, so as I move forward I’d like to think that will continue to happen.”

Cousins went one step further, saying he feels he has yet to peak as an NFL signal-caller.

“I just don’t feel like I’ve plateaued as a player,” he told Paulsen and Rouhier. “I know there may be some people who say ok, he is what he is now, but I think that I’m continuing to get better, the game’s slowing down, and I’m still interested to see how high I can go. Because I do think each year I’ve gotten better and had a greater command of how to play in this league.”

The 2016 Pro Bowler said the team is better than its 7-9 record, insisting the distance between the Redskins and the NFC’s elite is not as great as it may appear.

“I think this will be the first year where I watch the playoffs and watch the top teams, and feel the Redskins are not that far from that,” Cousins said. “When you look at teams like the Saints and the Vikings, we went toe to toe with them and played them really well and moved the football.”

At first glance, Washington’s record against NFC playoff teams doesn’t appear to support Cousins’ claim: the Redskins won just one of five matchups with the conference’s top six.

However, double-digit losses to Philadelphia aside, the Redskins were at worst competitive in the other three contests. Washington defeated the Los Angeles Rams by a touchdown in Week 2 before narrow losses to the Vikings and Saints. The New Orleans game was decided in overtime.

“This year I feel I’m gonna watch the NFC and feel like we’re right there,” Cousins went on to say. “Whether it’s the Rams, the Vikings, the Saints, I just feel like we played them all tough. Have a lot of reason to feel good about our chances next year and the way the team is headed.”

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