“He’s talented,” McCloughan said. “Talent is good at quarterback in the NFL. He’s won games. I know his record overall isn’t over .500. I know he hasn’t won a playoff game. But he’s competitive. He works his tail off. He’s so methodical. Every day he has planned out. He’s always in the building, he’s always watching tape, he’s always talking to coaches, he [was] talking to me. From the standpoint of the tangibles, they’re excellent. You just need to have some talent around him because you don’t want him to be throwing the ball 35-40 times to win the game. You want to have a running game, and have a good defense, good teams. And then let him do what he does.”
Two areas of Cousins’ game that don’t get talked about enough are his mobility and an ability to overcome adversity. McCloughan landed on both those points on Thursday.
“The thing about him that’s unique, and you don’t see it too often, he’s a pretty good athlete with his legs,” McCloughan said. “He can make plays moving around the pocket and running for first downs. He’s got a strong enough arm, there’s no doubt about it. He’s been through adversity. He got drafted the same year that Robert Griffin got drafted. And Robert was the guy and of course he deserved it. He was Offensive Rookie of the Year and Kirk just had to sit back and just wait and wait and wait.
“He wants to play. He’s highly, highly competitive. He comes across as a real nice guy, like Alex Smith did in interviews — and they are. But they’re both highly competitive and they want to win. But they want that stability too. They want to know they’re in some spot where it’s not just a one-year deal, one-year deal, one-year deal. He wants a long-term deal.”
It should be noted that it is somewhat bizarre that McCloughan would so vociferously complement Cousins, after saying that the signal-caller isn't special. Most of the verbiage the former GM used to complement Cousins paints the picture of a 'special' QB.
However, I will concur with Cousins’ former GM that he’s not quite special, in the same sense that the tier-one QBs are, like Rodgers, Brady, and Wilson. But I will allow that it’s highly possible that Cousins has those traits in potential. It's entirely possible he just needs to find the right home.
Jay: “I’ve been working with him for a long time now and we’ve put a lot of time and a lot of work together with one another trying to get him better, and he’s made me better. So that’s worked out very well. Of course he knows that we want him back...Kirk doesn’t owe anybody [anything] … Kirk’s put so much into making himself a great player that he’s made himself who he is.
“Whatever happens, happens with him and his agent and our organization,” Gruden said. “He has got two good years under his belt in our system, and I think it’s gonna be very good for him. You’re gonna see major growth from him again.”
Gruden also complimented the quarterback’s potential, saying “he’s got a huge upside that he hasn’t even tapped into yet.”