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Terrelle Pryor, Kirk Cousins work overtime to make sure 'it's all clicking'

ASHBURN, Virginia -- After practice ended Wednesday, and following a short chat with his position coach, Washington Redskins receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr. headed right for quarterback Kirk Cousins. Pryor wanted more work. Cousins was ready for the same.

As they continue to build an on-field rapport, they need the extra work.

"I came over to Kirk and was like, 'Hey, let's hit this route,'" Pryor said. "He was like, 'Man, you read my mind. I was about to grab you.'"

Pryor and Cousins have worked together quite a bit since the wideout signed with the Redskins in March. But they've only played two-plus quarters together in a game. In the preseason, Cousins has targeted Pryor three times, completing one.

Wednesday's extra session wasn't about those numbers; the Redskins are confident game-planning and more time will result in solid stats, starting in the Sept. 10 opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. But it was about getting their timing down on particular routes. On one route during practice, Pryor caught the ball but said he didn't feel right.

"You go back and fine-tune it," he said. "We hadn't run the route since we'd been in Richmond. So I wanted to go back over it and make sure we had it down so when we get into Week 1, it's all clicking and we can just go."

It helps build chemistry -- and Pryor can see how it works when that rapport is strong. He watched tight end Jordan Reed run the same route with Cousins after practice Wednesday. Cousins and Reed have worked together for four seasons, but the past two with Cousins as the starting quarterback. They have a strong on-field bond.

"Every single ball to Jordan, he might have missed one," Pryor said of the post-practice work. "We ran 10 of the same routes full speed after practice. Jordan does it where he shakes and sticks. Me, I run up on it fast so I get there quick and smoothly [roll in] so it happens for him quicker. That's what [Cousins is] trying to get a feel, 'OK, I have TP on this route, I need to quicken it up or put it on this spot every time.'"

Sometimes, it's a matter of getting used to a route against bump coverage or off. On the route they were running, if a cornerback plays bump coverage against Pryor, Cousins will take a hitch step knowing it'll take Pryor longer to get into the route. If it's not bump coverage, there's no hitch step. So Cousins must get used to the timing from both looks.

In the two preseason games, Cousins has thrown high on the two incompletions (one of which was wide also). They play Cincinnati on Sunday.

"We'll get better, we'll be fine and there will be a lot of exciting times here," Pryor said.

Cousins said he likes how Pryor wants to talk about the nuances of routes. But this is also Pryor's second full season playing receiver, so there's more to learn.

"Some of the stuff we're working on goes back to the fact that, as good as he is, as talented as he is, there's still a lot more there," Cousins said. "As he continues to fine-tune and understand what we want to do here in our offense, he hopefully can just keep getting better and better. I enjoy playing with him and I take it upon myself to get him the football, give him opportunities. He's so talented, and he has such a good heart and works so hard, I want to make sure he's given a chance to be really successful and have a great year this year."

Neither one is sweating the lack of productivity in the preseason. The Redskins are more focused on using concepts rather than plays specifically for individuals. And Pryor said against Baltimore there were times the Ravens rolled the safety over to his side for a double team. That's not what he anticipated.

"Everyone is going through the process," Pryor said. "Look at what the Giants did [against Cleveland]. Did they look any more spectacular than us? And their offense is going to be good. There are little things you iron out and then when you start game-planning, 'This is where we're going to TP on this play. Going to Jordan on this play.' Right now we're running plays that we want to get better. We're game-planning a little now so we should come out on fire Sunday."

Just to make sure, they put in a little overtime Wednesday.

"Just because things didn't work the first time doesn't mean come Week 1 we're not going to be clicking," Pryor said. "We'll be clicking."