Redskins QB Cousins aims to keep focus ahead of opener
ASHBURN, Va. (AP) Kirk Cousins said the best way to focus is to stay close to his Washington teammates, including fellow quarterback Robert Griffin III.
He's been great - he's always been classy,'' Cousins said about his relationship with Griffin. ''I don't feel a distraction in the building. A distraction is if I turn on the TV, answer my phone, get on Twitter. ... As long as I'm in the building, working hard, quote-unquote ignoring the noise, even if there is something on the outside being said, I don't feel it.''
Cousins insisted Wednesday that Griffin's continued presence won't be bothersome while preparing for Washington's against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. It's not clear if Griffin will even be the backup Sunday.
After sustaining a concussion in a preseason game Aug. 20, Griffin has yet to receive written clearance to return from an independent neurologist, Gruden said.
The 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year did undergo another test and received a verbal evaluation this week, but Gruden declined to elaborate.
Colt McCoy is the other backup option. Either way, Gruden wants Cousins to focus less on who is behind him and more on avoiding the peaks and valleys of last year's time as a starter.
''He can't feel like the weight of the world is on his shoulders,'' Gruden said. ''He has to rely on people to help him out.''
After Griffin dislocated his ankle early last season, Cousins lost four of his five starts while throwing 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He was pulled in favor of McCoy at halftime during Week 7.
In three preseason games, Cousins completed 40 of 53 passes for two touchdowns and one interception. He went 20 for 27 with one touchdown and one pick against Baltimore on Aug. 29.
Gruden named Cousins the starter two days later and, on Wednesday, pointed to the performance in Baltimore, in which Cousins responded positively after his first-half interception, as an example of his maturation.
''You're not going to go a whole season and not throw a pick, but when you do throw one, what happens after that?'' Gruden said. ''I think he's come a long way in that regard.''
Cousins downplayed uncertainty that may come from the recent cyclical nature of the Redskins quarterback job.
''I do feel believed in,'' he said. ''I haven't questioned that, I've never questioned that. And feel like I have all the pieces around me to be able to be successful.''
NOTES: OT Trent Williams (offense), P Tress Way (special teams) and S Dashon Goldson (defense) were named team captains ... DE Frank Kearse (shoulder) participated in full practice, but OT Todd Compton (calf) was held out.