HANK KURZ Jr., AP Sports Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — In the first training camp he entered as the Washington Redskins’ starting quarterback, Kirk Cousins has not only enjoyed the absence of drama that marked previous preseasons, he’s hoping it becomes the team’s standard.READ MORE: Henry Ford Museum's New Exhibit Celebrates Motorsports
“I’ve told my teammates that I’d like to be the San Antonio Spurs of the NFL, be super boring and maybe people at the end of the season just go: ‘Wow. They had a really good year and no one talked about it,'” Cousins said.
The Spurs, one of the least flashy teams in the NBA, have won six championships since 1999.
Washington held its last workout that was open to the public Sunday in sweltering heat that approached triple digits, and Cousins declared the team’s time in Virginia’s capital “a productive 2½ to three weeks.”
They will have one more workout Monday before packing up and heading to their Ashburn, Virginia, headquarters.
“I think we got a lot of work done. We covered a lot of situations and got to see so many different players contribute and get a lot of experience and growth,” Cousins said between Sunday’s morning walk-through and afternoon practice. “It was a productive camp and hopefully we can finish strong here with the last couple of practices.”
The 27-year-old Cousins, declared the starter late in training camp last season, started all 16 regular-season games for the Redskins, throwing for 4,166 yards and 29 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He also led the team to a 9-7 record and the NFC East championship before Washington was beaten by Green Bay in a wild card playoff game.
Cousins played just two series in the Redskins’ 23-17 loss to Atlanta in their preseason opener, and completed all five of his passes. The Redskins were otherwise sloppy, committing 14 penalties for 123 yards and struggling to get their running game untracked, but Cousins said he’s confident the team will be able to move the football.
“Having a great defense, having a great running game, being able to control the line of scrimmage … the fundamental principles of football that have always been there are very important,” he said. “Obviously there are ways around it. You can still throw the ball effectively, use quick game and other things, but you’re going to be more consistent as a football team if you can control the line of scrimmage and run the football effectively.”READ MORE: 'Our Goal Is To Be 100% Balance,' City Clerk Janice Winfrey Prepares For August 3rd Primary Elections, Wants Ballots Balanced
For the past four years, the Redskins featured Alfred Morris in their running game. When they opted not to re-sign him after last season, that left second-year back Matt Jones as the likely starter and lead ball carrier.
This early in camp, the offense under third-year offensive coordinator Sean McVay is still a work in progress, but Cousins likes the direction the team is heading.
“I’m very pleased with Sean and what he’s doing with our offense,” he said. “It’s so key as an offense to find an identity, find out what you do well, have a bread and butter, something you can hang your hat on, and I think we are starting to get there. We’re starting to feel that with the players we have and Sean’s done a great job of just continuing to evolve the offense to our strengths and weaknesses.”
The real test, he knows, won’t come until their regular season-opener on Sept. 12 against Pittsburgh.
“We’re trying to be ready for Week One but also get in a rhythm and find some completions and convert some first downs and move the football and hopefully score points, just like we would in any other situation,” he said. “We’re going to try to do that until they take us out of the game.”
NOTES: Defensive end Ricky Jean Francois paid for vouchers for ice cream for children attending the final public day of camp and was planning on serving some of it up himself after practice.
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