The Redskins are paying quarterback Kirk Cousins $24 million this season to make clutch throws, not play defensive back.
He did neither very well in a second-quarter play during Sunday’s preseason game at FedEx Field against the Bengals. Cousins’ attempted pass to Chris Thompson was intercepted by Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who out-ran a sprinting Cousins for a pick-six.
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Cousins tried his best to chase down Burfict and even tried to tackle him at the goal line. Is the overexertion really what the Redskins want to see from Cousins in a preseason game? Apparently so.
“To let a guy score a touchdown on our home field is unacceptable so I’m happy he did that,” head coach Jay Gruden told reporters after the 23-17 win. “That was the right move. He should do that.”
Cousins says he doesn’t see a difference between the preseason and regular season but Redskins fans have to be cringing, knowing an injury, like the one Andy Dalton suffered two years ago trying to make a post-interception tackle, would be devastating for their season.
“I feel like once we cross those lines, whether it’s the preseason or regular season, you just play,” Cousins said. “At first, I thought maybe I should have given a better effort. I didn’t want to extend my arms, so I just kind of threw a shoulder… When I looked up at the Jumbotron, I felt like I should’ve maybe done a better job form tackling.”
Cousins might have gained respect from Gruden and linebacker Junior Galette, but the potential risk for injury could have all been avoided with a spot-on throw in the first place.