Jon Gruden has been a Kirk Cousins fan for years.
“Maybe one of these days I can get back in the game and coach you,” the ESPN analyst told Cousins in the run-up to the 2012 draft.
“If I were a coach, I’d offer a first-round pick to the Redskins to get Kirk Cousins on my team,” Gruden said before the 2013 season.
“I like Kirk Cousins,” Gruden said late in the 2013 season. “And I obviously like Robert Griffin, too. Now, I think being 3-8, at some point here in the next five weeks, you probably want to see what Kirk Cousins has. He came off the bench in a dire situation last year and beat the world champion Ravens. He went on the road and threw for 300 yards against the Cleveland Browns. And I think his style of offense is probably a little different than Robert Griffin’s, for sure. So I do think in the next month or five weeks, you’re gonna want to probably see what you have in Kirk Cousins.”
By the end of the 2014 season — with his brother Jay now coaching the Redskins — Jon Gruden was enthusiastically praising Colt McCoy. And he’s certainly praised Robert Griffin III, as well. But it’s hard not to think of his affection for Cousins when you read this, from the Tampa Tribune:
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach and ESPN “Monday Night Football” analyst Jon Gruden will again be a volunteer coach at Carrollwood Day School this spring, CDS head football coach Lane McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin said Gruden was at the school Wednesday leading drills with the high school players and Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, former Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman and Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris.
Or this, from ESPN 980’s Chris Russell:
ESPN 980 has learned from multiple sources that Kirk Cousins spent several days very recently with former Raiders and Buccaneers head coach, Jon Gruden. Wait, say what?….Cousins apparently wanted to give himself every edge possible and either chose or was strongly encouraged to go spend several days, working from about 8 am to 6 pm, with Gruden, who has worked with many young quarterbacks in Tampa leading up to the annual draft.
Now, maybe Jay Gruden had no idea that his brother, a former Super Bowl winning coach, was working out with one of his two quarterbacks who are under contract. Maybe he didn’t have any suggestions for what Cousins needs to be working on with his brother, and maybe he didn’t hear any progress reports from these workouts. Yeah. Maybe.
Turns out, though, that Cousins has been spreading himself around Florida. The News-Press of Southwest Florida reported that Cousins spent two days working out with Estero High and throwing to the Wildcats’s wide receivers, none of whom have the last name of Gruden. Cousins told the paper they have family friends in the community.
Via the paper:
Jeff Christensen, a freelance NFL quarterback coach, flew to Fort Myers from Chicago in order to work with Cousins at Estero. Christensen has 18 NFL quarterbacks as clients, including Drew Stanton of the Arizona Cardinals and New England Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo….
In six starts last season filling in for the injured Robert Griffin III, the 6-foot-3 Cousins completed 126-of-204 passes (62.8 percent) for 1,710 yards, 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions…..”That’s why I’m here, to get rid of those nine interceptions,” Christensen said. “He had some ups and downs, things we’re addressing right now.”