- As a football junkie, I watch every Pro Bowl like it’s the Super Bowl. I love it. I hate myself for loving it, but I also love to hate myself, so the Pro Bowl works for me on many levels. A key component to most Pro Bowls in our recent past: the lack of prominent Redskins on the field. I don’t mean any disrespect to Trent Williams, who is a five-time Pro Bowler. His Redskins helmet has had my constant attention on Pro Bowl Sundays, but there is something special when your guy has the ball in his hands...which brings me to last night. When Kirk Cousins stepped onto the field for the NFC in the fourth quarter, I got excited. I know it’s a small, simple pleasure, but it is one we seldom taste and to deny its meaning would be folly. In the midst of our bickering over how to handle the future terms of a contract for someone I think is a franchise quarterback, we shouldn’t ignore the fact our guy was playing in the freaking Pro Bowl. Or that he—as Jon Gruden put it—has thrown for about 9,000 yards the last two seasons. Before I start really cherry-picking favorable stats, we should be able to agree that Kirk provides the kind of production from the quarterback position with which you can win.
- Any of us watching the game last night shared the same thought: our guy was going to make the game-winning play with the whole world (the world of football junkies anyway) bearing witness. If Jimmy Graham—who had just finished performing his best impression of Vince Vaugn’s character from Rudy when he bitched about getting hit too hard—hadn’t dropped Kirk’s perfectly thrown ball, we would all be talking about that Kirk Cousins moment today. Instead, did we get a better moment? Watching our guy (and yes, I am feel compelled to continue calling him that) run down an All-Pro cornerback and make a strip tackle in an attempt to salvage an opportunity to win a meaningless game was...awesome. Having watched Alexander Ovechkin drop to the ice to block multiple shots in an NHL All-Star game earlier in the evening, the Kirk Rundown—with all its injury potential—really cemented the pride I was feeling as a D.C. sports fan. I know that red zone touchdowns and playoff wins say things we all want to hear about a quarterback, there are windows that provide glimpses into a player that speak volumes. For me, that play on Talib was a window that provided a glimpse into the kind of player Kirk Cousins is and it should be telling us to go all in on him contractually. Just so I can heap as much as possible on that one play, I thought I would close out on this thought: it made me think about Sean Taylor’s hit on Brian Moorman in a previous Pro Bowl. In a game that meant nothing, both of our guys played like it was the last game in which they would ever participate. We can all say that it was a pointless play in an even more pointless game, but I can’t be alone in feeling that these kinds of plays resonate among us. I can’t be the only one loving Kirk Cousins more today as a result of that play.
- More than just watching him play, I was keenly interested in hearing the commentary from Jay Gruden’s brother Jon while Kirk was under center. The glowing rhetoric from the glowingest rhetorician to cover football these days was extremely satisfying. Jon Gruden’s matter-of-fact style when saying that Kirk wasn’t going anywhere and that he is in line for a big contract made me feel pretty good. That leading football experts all kind of agree that Cousins is worth investing in helps keep me from losing it when I hear people suggest we should let him walk. Past Redskins regimes were expected to make such insane decisions, but the Scot “McLovin” McCloughan regime sits a few rungs higher. #PayKC
- I always like to add a draft profile thought this time of year, and I thought it would be somewhat more generic today. As I was watching the game last night, the camera lingered on Casey Hayward, the AFC cornerback who started his career in Green Bay and now plays for the Chargers. I recalled that we spent a lot of time on this site talking about him coming out of Vanderbilt five years ago. He ended up getting drafted near the bottom of the second round (the Redskins did not have a second round pick in that 2012 draft since we traded it as part of the deal with the Rams for Robert Griffin III). I think of him as an example of the fairly in-depth conversations we have on this site around the draft profiles, and the manner in which they seem to make us smarter football fans. I could throw out mid- to late-round names as well, but the point today is that a guy we spent time debating shows up on television and I have a background and a frame of reference on him. More and more sites are doing these kinds of profiles, but I feel like we (as Redskins fans) have been ahead of the curve in terms of our average daily discourse. Pop in and check out the work done by Aaron and Gabe (Cadillactica) when you can and join the conversation. If nothing else, you’ll have some interesting things to add to the conversation at the bar when the topic comes up.
- Not to re-hash the Kirk Pro Bowl Experience, but watching him throw to Odell Beckham and Dez Bryant was equal parts nauseating and exhilarating. It really underlines the concept/argument of building quality talent around the gunslinger in the skill positions. I know we have to spend on defense—and I am FULLY in favor of doing so with more gusto—but if you are going to pay a guy like Kirk a ton of dough, you need to also ensure he has the best talent around him on offense that you can afford. To me, this means that instead of spending a ton of money on an offensive free agent skill player, we could see the Redskins take an offensive weapon in the first round. I fear that people are going to freak out about this if it happens, but we should all prepare for the very real possibility that it could go down that way.
- This week on The Audible, we continue with our Offseason On the Brink segment, focusing on hidden Pro Bowlers on our roster right this second and a couple of veterans that deserve our respect but probably don’t fit our long-term plans. We take the temperature of the fanbase with one of favorite Hogs Haven writers...he who sips clear liquid from a mason jar whilst rocking in a chair on his porch wearing jorts and crocs.
Looks Like Someone Has a Sixpack of the Mondays
The NFL Pro Bowl was actually a decent football game to watch...even more so for Redskins fans who got to see their trigger man on the field at the end with the game on the line.