The Redskins went into this past Sunday’s game against the Browns knowing that they would not have their leader, their captain and MVP candidate Robert Griffin III. It was up to fourth round pick and backup quarterback Kirk Cousins to lead the Redskins out of Cleveland with a win. That is exactly what he did. It didn’t start out well. Cousins looked like a rookie playing in his third NFL game as passes were being intercepted or nose-diving into the turf. After two straight three and outs Cousins kept his composure, threw a beautiful strike to wide receiver Leonard Hankerson and that pass helped get his feet under him and Cousins led the Redskins to a rout of the Browns while RG3 cheered him on in sweats and a stocking cap. The Redskins need RG3 but at least for one weekend they learned that they have a very capable backup who can come off the bench and run the offense.
Leonard Hankerson joined ESPN 980 in Washington D.C. with the Sports Reporters to talk about whether he felt he needed to be the player to stop the run of three and outs early in the game against the Browns this past week, if he thought he was touched down on his first touchdown catch, how much different things were in the huddle with Kirk Cousins as opposed to Robert Griffin III, if he lobbied to Kirk Cousins to throw him the ball and whether he got off to a slow start this season because of his offseason hip surgery.
Whether he felt he needed to be the player to stop the run of three and outs early in the game against the Browns this past week:
“No man. I was just out there getting open. Every time a team goes three and out it’s frustrating because we know we’re leaving a lot of plays on the field. I just wanted to make plays and keep the drives going.”
If he thought he was touched down on his first touchdown catch:
“When I hit the ground I realized I wasn’t touched and I was actually surprised by it because I thought the cornerback was still near me. I guess they all went for the ball and missed and I was able to keep focused on the ball and come down with it.”
How much different things were in the huddle with Kirk Cousins as opposed to Robert Griffin III:
“I honestly don’t think it was that much different at all because both of those guys are high energy guys, they both come in the huddle with a whole lot of confidence, they talk to us a lot and I think they pretty much come in the same way. Even though Kirk hasn’t been a starter for the past 13 games, he always in practice, he always comes in with high intensity and he talks to us all the same like he has been the starter. Kirk, he’s a guy that prepares hard each and every week like he is the starter and it obviously showed on Sunday.”
If he lobbied with Kirk Cousins to throw him the ball:
“Nope, not at all. We are all one team. We are all going to play together, stick together and we’re going to have each other’s back. We have so much character on this team that we don’t do stuff like that. It wasn’t his first time in the huddle, but it was first time in the huddle for the whole game and Kirk did a tremendous job having control of the huddle and talking to everybody before the play. He went out there and made plays and did his thing.”
Whether his offseason hip surgery bothered him at the beginning of the season:
“It wasn’t at all. I feel like I have felt good the whole season. The only time I was really nervous was the first two preseason games. Other than that I have been feeling pretty good. I give credit to the Redskins training staff, they did a heck of a job with me getting me back to where I am today.”