Kyle Shanahan: Redskins QB Kirk Cousins can be 'great'

Kirk Cousins averaged nearly 100 more passing yards per game than Robert Griffin III last season. He threw more touchdown passes in six games (10) than Griffin and Colt McCoy combined to toss in 14 games (eight).

After throwing eight interceptions over a four-game span, though, the best quarterback on the Washington Redskins' roster was banished to the bench and became an afterthought down the stretch last season.

Should a quarterback-needy team have tried to pry Cousins away from the Redskins this offseason?

Falcons coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who used to run Washington's offense, recently told's Vaughn McClure that Cousins still has a chance to be a "great quarterback some day."

"Kirk's one of the sharper guys I've been around," Shanahan added. "He processes things so fast. He lets it rip. He's as tough as can be."

Shanahan might be overstating Cousins' potential.

The former Michigan State star's career interception percentage of 4.7 dwarfs those of other turnover-prone passers such as Mark Sanchez (3.7), Jay Cutler (3.4) and Eli Manning (3.3).

That said, Cousins has proven capable of consistently moving an offense. With the right mentor, he would be an upgrade in several NFL cities.

Entering his prime at age 26, Cousins shouldn't be languishing on the sidelines with a clipboard while backup-caliber quarterbacks Matt Cassel, Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel "battle" for a starting job in Buffalo.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast discusses offseason clichés and who are the NFL's most valuable non-QBs. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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