In preparation for Sunday’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints, Kirk Cousins went into his respect and appreciation for his opposing quarterback, Drew Brees.
Brees, a 16-year veteran, is the NFL’s active leader in career passing yards with 68,509 yards through the air. He ranks No. 3 all-time behind Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. Brees has been a gun-slinger since entering the league with the San Diego Chargers in 2001, and he’s been someone for young quarterbacks to look up to and model their game after for nearly two decades.
Cousins told the media earlier this week that he’s always watched Brees closely and studied the future hall-of-fame QB extensively since his college days.
“I’ve just always admired his career going back to his days at Purdue,” Cousins said. “The way he has handled adversity, the way he’s carried himself with class, the consistent production year-in and year-out.
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“He’s stayed healthy. He’s just been a consistent force there for the Saints. I love his game and the way he plays and I’ve been able to learn a lot from him, just from a distance, watching film and studying his game.”
Cousins knows the importance of studying other elite quarterbacks in order to reach the level of stardom as an NFL quarterback. Even the best, most talented signal callers must continue to be a student of the game throughout his career.
“I think the goal is to just watch other guys and how they’ve had success and study their game,” he said. “He plays with such a good base and he’s got great accuracy. He sees the field well, has good athleticism, moves around well, avoids sacks, completes a lot of passes.
“And so all of those things are things you say, ‘That’s a good recipe for success, a good model for success.’ I think in that sense, you do try to pattern your game after great players like that.”
Cousins also had nothing but great things to say about the Saints defense, one that has vastly improved in 2017. Cousins noted that its particularly tough to win in New Orleans, especially with how much pressure the Saints defense puts on opposing quarterbacks.
“I think they’re well-coached,” Cousins said. “I think it’s a good scheme. I think they’re creating pressure. It seems like they’re getting after the quarterback, batting a lot of passes down at the line of scrimmage. It seems that their secondary is covering very well. They’re creating confusion. They’re changing up their looks and just kind of creating chaos and that’s what good defenses do. It is going to be a challenge, especially in their environment and their stadium, to be on the screws and make sure we’re all on the same page.”
“I think the things that you want to do to try to help with that are the things you do every week – negotiate arm angles, hold your eyes, don’t stare down where you’re throwing, have a quick release,” Cousins said. “I think those are all things that I do pretty well. I think I have a quick release. I think I can move my arm angle to make those throws and so I think those are the same things you try to do every week.”
Written by: Ben Faunce