A Passion for Leadership Coming in Handy for Kirk Cousins

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins talks about leadership at the helm of one of the NFL's greatest franchises.


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Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins talks about leadership at the helm of one of the NFL's greatest franchises.

CBN.com - Kirk Cousins was surprised when he heard the Washington Redskins selected him in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL draft. He was stunned because the team had already selected a quarterback in the first round in Robert Griffin III. “The most interesting thing was that the Washington Redskins were nowhere on my radar especially after they traded up for Robert. I felt like Robert was going to be going there and they’d be set.”

Now that the shock factor of the situation has worn off, his role with the team is becoming clearer. “The fact that I’m here and that this is where my future’s going to be for now is a very unique thing and I think it shows God’s hand on the process.”

Cousins grew up a preacher’s kid in Holland, Michigan, three hours west of Detroit.  “While I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 7 or 8 years old, I think when it really took root in me and when I really took ownership, was when I moved into high school and really started to learn what it meant to not just be calling myself a Christian but to actually be a follower of Jesus Christ.”

High school is also where he excelled as an athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. College scouts were taking note of his play on the football field. That is until an ankle injury put his future in question. “I think that God had His hand in that entire plan. Because when I broke my ankle my junior year, it really hurt my recruitment. I was waiting and waiting and waiting for a place like Michigan State to offer me. I trusted that God had a plan and the right place for me.”

The right place turned out to be Michigan State. After redshirting his first year, Kirk won the starting job two seasons later and eventually led the Spartans to a Big 10 championship and a victory at the 2012 Outback Bowl. “The fact that I basically ruled out that opportunity and yet here I am and that I was able to play at Michigan State, just shows how God is bigger than our setbacks and bigger than our trials.”

Now with the Redskins, Kirk is the number 2 guy behind RG3. Like most competitors his goal is to be the number one guy. But for now, he’s content and believes it’s all a part of God’s plan. “I trust that He brought me here for a reason. And that reason may not be to be the starting quarterback for now or to be the guy throwing touchdown passes on Sunday afternoons. It may be to be a servant, and to be a backup and to serve Robert and the rest of my teammates however possible. If that’s God’s plan then it’s God’s plan and that’s good enough for me.”

As the starting quarter back for Michigan State for three years, Kirk was used to leading his team. He says he’s still a leading - just differently. “I believe that leadership at the end of the day is influence. And I think more than anything as a Christian I want to influence my teammates for Christ. That’s not going to change whether I’m the starting quarterback or the third string quarterback, or not even playing in the NFL. I’m still going to be a leader. I’m still going to influence people for Christ. And no matter what my role is on this team, I’m going to use that opportunity in the locker room each and every day.”

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