<
>

Kirk Cousins, passing game provide highs and lows Saturday

The Redskins aren't panicking because the defense intercepted Kirk Cousins a couple times Saturday. AP Photo/Steve Helber

RICHMOND, Va. -- The passing game will provide the fire for the Washington Redskins' offense. Saturday, it provided a few highs -- for both the offense and the defense.

In one sequence, there was an interception in 7-on-7 followed by a long touchdown pass followed by an interception on the first play in full-team work.

It's important to note that what coaches want early in camp is to make sure guys are lining up right and getting the mental work down as much as anything. That goes for both sides of the ball. Making plays is great, but the mental part is huge right now. If a guy gets beat, it's not the end of the world. Ditto for if a quarterback throws a pick. The Redskins aren't panicking because the defense intercepted Cousins a couple times Saturday. On some of the throws he needs to be better; on others, the credit goes to the defensive back.

In other words: Keep it in perspective.

Here are some of the passing game highs and lows:

  • Cousins connected with receiver Jamison Crowder on a deep ball, hitting him in stride, in one-on-ones. It was a nice ball and good route by Crowder.

  • Typically with deep balls it's about timing and knowing when to throw it with certain receivers. With Cousins and DeSean Jackson, for example, they're still working on that downfield rhythm in camp. On Friday, Cousins underthrew him on one route, but Saturday they connected on a deep ball. This time, Jackson ran a post and spotted an opening over the middle. It did not appear he was the primary receiver because Cousins quickly turned and spotted him and hit Jackson in stride for what would have been a touchdown. The defensive backs were caught in a little breakdown, but it was enough to cause damage.

  • Corner Bashaud Breeland played one pass to receiver Maurice Harris perfectly. Harris, on a wheel route from the inside, had perhaps a half-step on Breeland. But Breeland turned as the ball arrived and made an outstretched pick of Cousins. Just a really good play by Breeland.

  • Defensive end Trent Murphy made a nice read and interception of a Cousins screen pass in full-team work. Murphy reacted on instincts after a good read and made a leaping pick, taking off for what would have been a pick-six.

For those worried about Cousins, I wouldn't be based on the first few days. It's not as if he's been awesome, but it's also not like he's been bad, either. Coaches have been rather pleased with his mental work and though he must improve, there have been some good signs by certain defensive players, too.