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Opposing View: Panthers vs. Redskins

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins

On team's win last week against the Saints:"Total team win. When you run the ball as well as we did, we stayed out of third-and-longs. We didn't have a third down over seven yards, I believe, for the whole game, so everything was very manageable. Our screen game worked well and so all of that combined to put me in a position to be successful and then our defense came away with a touchdown and made a lot of stops. I believe the Saints had 14 points with about nine minutes to go in the second quarter and the game ended with the Saints having 14 points. So, when the defense plays like that, when the run game works, when the screen game works, when we stay at third and manageable, it puts me in a position to be very successful. So, I credit the rest of the guys with helping me out."

On what they have to do to have a repeat performance against the Panthers:"Well, very tough defense and we certainly expect a serious challenge. I don't know that we even would say a repeat performance is what we are shooting for, I think. We know we have a tough challenge and we're just trying to find a win any way that we can. I see them being the best team in the league as an undefeated football team. Many, many solid, great players who have been there now for several years in consistent roles and that's the kind of team that we want to build here."

 On what is working for Washington right now:"I know from my own perspective that I am getting better each week. This is my first year starting consistently. I have only had 18 starts in my career and half of them have been this season. That helps that development. You're growing, you feel like you are growing quickly week to week as a young player and young quarterback in this league and each week I am getting more experience and have a better understanding of my role. That helps and then I think the same could be said of other guys and of other units. The defense, the special teams, the run game - all those things are continuing to grow and develop. If we can get it to come together and all play well at the same time, that starts to lead to wins."

On difference between Cam Newton's celebrations and his own: "To be honest, I don't speak from a place of much knowledge because I have barely seen his celebration. I am kind of ignorant, so I can't say a whole lot. I know he has a lot more rhythm than I do and that lends itself to having more freedom with your ability to celebrate. I'm kind of restricted to only a few things which include yelling, 'You like that?' If I had more rhythm, I would love to be a little more creative, but unfortunately I don't."

On how he handled the quarterback situation: "Yeah, it's been handled very well. I am not saying that from my perspective, I'm saying it from the team, Robert (Griffin III), Colt McCoy, everybody in the building has just handled it well and we all have a job to do and we are all trying to help the Redskins win football games. It is a competitive league that tests you every single day and that's no surprise to any of us. We bring it every day and see where that leads us. I think overall, it's just been handled well and we will see where we go from here, what the future holds."

On why he thinks more quarterbacks don't celebrate like Cam Newton:"I do think when you run the ball in, it is a totally different deal than when you throw it. That's one, and two, like I said earlier, not to speak for other guys but if you don't have that kind of rhythm, it is hard to come up with some great celebrations. So those two things come to mind but you can see his athleticism in his celebrations and all of that is why he is who he is and such an impressive quarterback and impressive player."

Washington head coach Jay Gruden

On what they need to do this week to maintain the momentum they have:"We have to play a heck of a football game against a very good Carolina team, obviously. One, we have to build off our momentum like you said, which is very, very important, trying to remain grounded like we've been and trying put back to back wins together is something we've struggled with in my tenure here. So, it's important for us to try to build off the momentum and continue to play well."

On facing their third undefeated opponent this season and if the third time's a charm:"Let's hope so. They're undefeated for a reason. They're very sound in what they do. Defensively, they are a good tackling team, they have great corners, obviously the pass rush is good, their linebacker play goes without being said, they're outstanding. And then offensively, they control the clock and they pound you into submission. So, it's going to be important for us to play an excellent football game without question."

On stopping Cam Newton:"He is definitely unique. He's in a class by himself as far as skill set for that position. You try and guard your quarterback against running the ball too much, but he definitely can handle the workload. He's big, strong, physical, excellent accuracy. I had the chance to work him out when I was in Cincinnati because he was part of our draft process there so I got to know him a little bit and I know what type of kid he is and what type of quarterback he is. But, it's going to take our whole team, you can't stop him with one guy. When he runs the ball you have to gang tackle him and get him on the grass and when he throws the ball our coverage has to be fundamentally sound and go from there."

On trying to win on the road:"We've played very good teams, that's one. You play at the Giants, at New England, at Atlanta, you know, not easy. So, it's just a mindset you have to have. You have to be mentally tough and you have to be able to handle adversity because when you play these teams that are very good on the road, they're going to make some plays and how you handle the adversity is usually how you handle the game but we just haven't made plays that we normally make. We've turned the ball over, we've dropped passes, just hopefully our guys play within themselves and do what they can do and do their job and things will fall into place, we hope."

On Charlotte being a Washington town before the Panthers were established:"The good thing about our fans is that we travel well and we're going to have a good crowd at all our road games and I understand before Carolina was there I think Washington was their home team because they were the only team they got on television so, I know we're going to have a lot of fans there like we do every week and hopefully we can drown out some of the noise from Carolina because I know they're playing well. Playing on the road, I tell people all the time, in pro football it's the greatest advantage because it really alters your game plan or your ability to communicate offensively so it will be a great challenge for us to handle the silent count and the snap count and get the calls off and our audibles and hand signals and all that and try to figure out a way to slow down Carolina's pass rush."

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