Such is life as the other rookie quarterback in Washington, one selected three rounds after Robert Griffin III.
"I certainly didn't expect as a fourth-round pick to be one of the more talked about players in the draft," Cousins said. "It shows why this is a great place to play."
There really shouldn't be much consternation over the pick. It's simple: The Redskins picked a player they felt would make their team and perhaps contribute someday -- even if it's just for a game or two per season because Griffin is hurt. And if Cousins plays well in preseason (and if he's needed as a backup during the season), then the Redskins could trade him for a higher pick.
Consider that the Redskins have drafted 21 players the past two years combined -- most in the NFL during this period. Not every draft pick will fill a need, nor does it need to.
In talking to seven people who either worked in the game or still do -- from scouts to front office types to coaches -- only one was adamantly against the pick. Five had no problem, and the sixth understood the rationale but said he would not have made the choice. But one way or another, coach Mike Shanahan said he's not worried about any reactions.
"Once I start thinking about reactions, then I don't think I'll be doing this much longer," he said.
Griffin and Cousins roomed together at the rookie minicamp this weekend, studying plays and film in their room. Griffin joked that they even ate a burrito together, then quickly added, "Not the same burrito, just to clear that up."
Both have the demeanor to make this relationship work as they grow. And what matters to Shanahan is that perhaps a franchise that couldn't get one quarterback right may have finally solved a problem.
"With the three quarterbacks we have, I'm excited to keep three," he said, including Rex Grossman. "There are a lot of times I was hoping I could keep three quarterbacks."
- John Keim