Captain Kirk Shows His Brass


I’m going to just sit over here in the corner, quietly for a while.

If that’s okay.

See, I’m the one who has been braying pretty loudly about how idiotic it was for some Redskins fans to even THINK that Kirk might be this team’s future. I was the one who lobbied to move him for anything more than the single 4th rounder we paid for him.

Yeah, I was the one who barked with smug sports radio host certainty: “He’s… a … BACKUP. Get over it.”

Well, now. Hold everything. Can I just sit in the back here, and take some notes?

Kirk Cousins can play. P-L-A-Y.

I don’t care about the crushing pick late on Sunday against the Eagles. The failure to move the ball an inch on 4 downs at the +41 needing just a field goal to tie the game – frustrating. Utterly. I get it. But it’s paid football. These things happen.

I am more enticed by all the things he does well. Some of them, very well. He reads routes and decides: QUICKLY. He’s more athletic than given credit for. He’s accurate. And his arm, is either sufficient+ or good-. I’m not sure which.

He also throws balls with MOXIE. The whizzed out-pass to Pierre Garcon over two defenders was a real drop-the-remote-in-quiet-shock type of play.

I’m just gonna sit here in the corner quietly, if that’s okay. Partly because I feel sorta stupid, but more so because I want to really WATCH what the next 7 weeks brings.

Could he be our Nick Foles? A bonus baby pick, dropped in our laps by accident almost, by a now deposed coach who everybody said really, really, really liked the quarterback from Michigan State. Everybody in the NFL likes talking in “comps” – as if quarterbacks were real estate.

Who could Kirk Cousins be? Everyone says “Andy Dalton” because of the connection to JayGru the last few years in Cincinatti. Maybe that’s too easy.

Maybe he’s just Ryan Tannehill, Jake Locker, or Matt Cassell.  A guy who is squarely competent at playing this most amazingly difficult position, but also a guy you stop expecting to do anything magical anytime soon.

I mean once upon a time Kevin Kolb and Josh Freeman were hot things in this league for about five minutes.

It’s why I am going to sit here quietly, taking some more notes. Suffice to say, he’s shut my ass up good. And I’m happy for that fact.


Okay, now for the rest of the game notes and thoughts from an instant classic in Philly.

– Funny how everyone assumed that the defense and special teams were “so much better” after one great Sunday against a burning bag of dogshit team like Jacksonville. Ahh, yeah. Sure, Shady McCoy was rendered utterly useless, but it’s hard to tell if that was because he got nearly knocked out early in the game by David Amerson, or the loss of several key o-linemen. Foles was never sacked, and had time to blister a still porous secondary. Losing DeAngelo Hall for the season (and I mean, that’s it for him as a Redskin, right?) with an achilles certainly won’t help, and I continue to be flummoxed by whatever it is this coaching staff sees in Brandon Merriweather. But, whatever. Now that Jason Hatcher’s long dance with a soft tissue injury has begun, I have serious concerns. Probably time to put away that nickname for the unit, Cooley.

– As for special teams, well, you are only as good as your screw ups. Or, if you want another way doing the accounting, for every bad special teams play you surrender, you need at least one great one to make up for it. By my count then, we are already 5-over-par after just 3 games. Not good. I don’t want to hear about Kai’s sore groin. As they say in the NFL: if you are suited up and playing, you are healthy. 33-yarders are pathetic little chip shots, even for backyard hacks like me. You can’t miss those. He did.

– I am of divided mind about the Chris Baker hit that waylaid Nick Foles. On the one hand, I have yet to see or hear what the specific rule or NFL “casebook” says on hits like this on both inattentive QB’s on change-of-possession plays, as well as other players. What is legal, what isn’t? Sadly, the league calls these things now. Always. Like I’ve been saying: “If it looks like it hurt, they’ll throw a flag.” Baker should know better. On the other hand, I’m not sure it ended up hurting the Redskins in the end. Foles took major hit point damage, and we got Jason Peters out of the game because of it. Baker’s our best (and last nose tackle standing) so that hurt. But probably not as much as Peters leaving, since Philly didn’t have any sub linemen left at that point. I know this: people are going to get fined. Let’s hope there are no suspensions.

– All that said, who can deny that the melee was anything other than ELECTRIFYING. As soon as I saw Peters set out after Baker, my heart started pounding. Those are two bad-ass brahma bull mo-fo’s who were about go at it. Clear the decks! Peters did what good teammates do to teammates they really like and respect. I instantly recalled when Ebenezer Ekuban of the Cowboys dragged shit-heel Jeff George after the whiste like a rag doll under the Dallas hole in the roof. None of our lineman even blinked. I can’t blame them.

– The Skins probed over the top twice to DeSean Jackson, and hit pay dirt on one of them. Perfect. I want at least two of these per game, regardless of what “the coverage” is.

Finally, I must weigh in on how utterly stupid it was for Gruden to call a “let’s talk about it” timeout before the final 4th and 10 that failed. It is beyond belief to me, that so many coaches STILL improperly value timeouts.

With 1:52 left, and a great chance to pin the Eagles deep, with ALL-THREE timeouts left, to me the best and easiest strategic play is to PUNT. For starters, 4th and 10 is a lousy conversion percentage, whatever that number actually is. Furthermore, Philly simply couldn’t MOVE the ball an inch on the ground at that point in the game. Down to back-ups across their entire O-line, punting would have made Philly make a very hard choice down in their own end. Do they dare pass in that spot? Many bad things start coming to mind. Sacks, picks, and of course, stopped clocks on incompletions.

At worst, if you want to go-for-broke on 4th and 10, fine.



Whew. There. I feel much, a little bit, kinda better.


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Steve Czaban is a 25 year sports radio veteran, who hosts an afternoon drive show in Washington D.C. "Czabe" also writes and edits his own commentaries for and other on-line and print publications. He can be reached at


  1. What is Kirk’s record as a starter? How many rushing yards did A. Morris have? Yes, Kirk can play, but this team is not designed for Kirk, the zone running scheme only works well if the defense respects the back side of the play, meaning the boots and play action. With the defense ends crashing down the line our run will suffer forcing the pass. This line can’t sustain the power run scheme that best fits Cousins.

    Eventually all defenses will sit back and let the play happen in front of them, like they did with 1st and 10 from the 41 in the fourth quarter.

    You should not over praise #8, for playing a not very good Philly D, that is helped by their opponents strategy of ball control in order to limit Chip Kelly’s offense.

  2. Czabe, the Foles hit was textbook call. Under NFL, Rule 12, Sect 2, Art 7, a quarterback is considered in a defenseless posture on any change of possession or if any player is blindsided (this goes back to the dirt bag Warren Sapps hit on Chad Clifton from a playoff game in the early 2000s).

  3. Cousins is solid. Like his game. Sure he’s gonna make his mistakes but he’s a QB you can build around. RG1111?? No thanks. Never will play a 16 game schedule or 12 game for that matter.


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