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Kirk Cousins could bolster Kyle Shanahan's reputation

The Washington Redskins are in must-win mode as they try to chase down a playoff spot. They'll kick off Sunday with rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins making his first career start against the Cleveland Browns.

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Cousins; play could have a significant impact on Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's future, NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi said Sunday on "First on the Field."

Shanahan has to get a lot of credit for the development of NFL Rookie of the Year candidate Robert Griffin III. The No. 2 overall draft pick came into the league with incredible skills and maturity, but Shanahan adapted the offense to best use the Heisman Trophy winner.

A successful outing by Cousins could signal to the rest of the NFL that Shanahan is ready for his first head-coaching opportunity. Preparing another rookie to play on a week's notice in a pressure situation certainly would be something to put on the resume.

Shanahan first was offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans from 2008 to 2009 before being hired by his father, Mike Shanahan, for the same position in D.C.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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