ASHBURN, Va. -- He’s played with many quarterbacks, some of whom weren’t very good. That’s partly why Santana Moss also played on some bad teams. However, he’s also played with a number of quarterbacks who fared well.
And Moss thinks Kirk Cousins will end up in that category, which is why he wishes no change had been made at quarterback.
Cousins was benched at halftime of the Washington Redskins' 19-17 win over Tennessee after two more turnovers. That’s an issue he hasn’t been able to solve: He’s committed 23 turnovers in his 14 NFL games.
“I feel we’re in a tough situation as a team,” Moss said. “People are tired of what we’re going through so changes had to be made. … I understand turnovers are big and I don’t feel giving Colt [McCoy] a chance is wrong. But when you have a guy you’ve been trusting the last few years with this role and he’s coming up big for us, you just can’t turn on him because of a couple miscues.
“I feel he made a lot of great plays in the time he’s been in there to show us why he’s been the go-to guy when [Robert Griffin III] is not around. You don’t want to hurt his progress from saying, ‘OK, he’s been relied on the last few weeks and now we’re turning stray on him. I understand this game, it’s all about what have you done for me now, it’s all about winning, all about not turning it over. So when all that comes together, you lean the other way because you don’t want to see it anymore.”
Moss, echoing comments he made to 106.7 The Fan’s Chad Dukes earlier in the week, remains a big fan of Cousins. He makes throws that Moss views as excellent -- the touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson against Arizona, where he stuck the ball just inside corner Patrick Peterson; the lofted pass to tight end Niles Paul for a 50-yard gain last week. Those throws could no longer trump the turnovers for the coaches, but Moss sees it as a preview on his career. Moss, 35, is basing it on Cousins' game, plus what he's seen in a career that includes 722 receptions. But more than a shot at the coaches' decision, his words were as much about a belief in Cousins.
“I see he knows how to run the offense well,” Moss said. “He knows where to throw the ball. When you give him time, he can pick defenses apart. Those are some of the things I rave about because I’ve been in offenses like that, been around guys who know where to throw the ball and when. Mark Brunell was like that. Vinny Testaverde. Chad Pennington. I’ve been around great quarterbacks who show me that.
“When you have that in a young guy like Kirk, who really hasn’t had a year that he can say has been his -- it’s always been a backup role. This year is almost like his first fresh year, even though he came in as a backup. He’s still young. He’s like a rookie. If I was in those shoes I wouldn’t want to break his mental of what he’s been working to be. I would try to work with him and get him out of that.”
Even late last week, before the Titans game, coaches remained confident in Cousins’ ability, so I doubt a whole lot has changed. Cousins needed to respond better to his mistakes. They appear to weigh too heavily on him. But he proved to one player that he’s worthy of another chance.