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Kirk Cousins preaches patience, embraces backup role

Kirk Cousins understands he was drafted behind the franchise quarterback in Robert Griffin III. He's not frustrated about the lack of opportunity with the Washington Redskins, and he's not eager for a trade.

"Patience is the name of the game," Cousins said Thursday on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike in the Morning." "It's a part of life. Things don't happen as fast as we want them to. I was a backup at Michigan State for two years. That's part of the deal: You wait your turn.

"Right now, I view my NFL career as a marathon, not a sprint. While I may have to sit for a few years ... I believe long-term that may be the best blessing I could possibly have had."

Cousins wasn't one of those Day 1 starter prospects leading up to the NFL draft. He played in three games as a rookie and shined in his lone start -- throwing for 329 yards and two touchdowns with an interception and a 70.3 completion percentage.

Cousins' name pops up in trade rumors because of that potential, but it has been beneficial to have spot duty rather than an entire franchise on his shoulders immediately. Plus, he's getting plenty of work with Griffin recovering from knee surgery and might get to start Week 1 if Griffin isn't ready.

"For me, it's about playing as long as I can," Cousins said. "Having the best 12- or 14-year career if I'm blessed to have that. It's about having as long of a career as possible, not getting off to as fast of a start as possible.

"If I'm good enough, I'm going to get my chance. If I'm not good enough, I'll have to live with that. I'm not worried about if I'm going to get my chance."

That's about as good of an attitude as a young player can have.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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