Though Redskins QB Kirk Cousins is in his fifth season, he's also started only 25 regular-season games. Subtle growth -- to an outsider, that is -- can be important.
"It's his overall command of the offense," Redskins offensive coordinator Sean McVay said.
"Kirk has done a nice job of handling it," McVay said. "You start to see him understand where the progression takes him based on that coverage and understanding situationally how aggressive I can be on certain window-type throws and how whether second or third down alters my approach and how I attack a play."
For now, the signs of growth are evident to them and Cousins himself.
"A better understanding of the nuances," Cousins said. "The basic design of plays I've always understood from Day 1. But there are so many nuances and unique situations that only experienced players and quarterbacks are able to navigate properly. So just continuing to get put in those situations and react and make quick decisions and the right ones is where I'm continuing to grow."
Cousins was the #17 QB through the first seven weeks of the season, but really started to produce after his Week 8 bye, averaging 20.9 PPG in his final nine games. That was the 4th-highest per game average during that stretch. He averaged 9.28 YPA in that span and threw at a 4318-yard, 36-TD pace. The team added Josh Doctson to an already talented receiving corps, so Cousins could offer top 10 numbers again in 2016.