Between a pair of painful losses and chatter over Kirk Cousins' leadership, the Washington Redskins' season is already in a state of disarray.
That hasn't affected coach Jay Gruden's confidence in his quarterback.
"We have total faith that Kirk will get it done, and he will get it done," Gruden told reporters Monday following a 27-23 loss to the division rival Dallas Cowboys. "He has proven that he can be a successful quarterback in this league."
Vying for a new long-term contract, Cousins has failed to pick up where he left off in leading the Redskins to an NFC East title in his first year as a starter.
Though he's completing a serviceable 65.2 percent of his passes and is third season in the NFL with 693 passing yards, the fifth-year quarterback has thrown just one touchdown to three interceptions.
A Pro Football Talk report that surfaced Monday morning suggested Redskins players complained about Cousins and his apparent "lack of decisiveness, erratic play, and confusion." Colt McCoy is the preferred option by some within the locker room to start at quarterback, the report said.
Cousins, voted a team captain by players before the season, said little Monday to dismiss the report other than "people respond with emotion."
"It's understandable," he said of the criticism in a scheduled appearance on D.C.'s 106.7 The Fan. "All I know to do as a leader, as a football player having been in this position before, having faced adversity before is you regroup. You don't put your tail between your legs. You don't get scared. You don't go cry in a corner. ... We're going to find a way to move forward and play better. We're going to do it together."
Cousins is playing under a $19.95 million franchise tag this season, so the expectation was that he would build off the 4,166 passing yards and 34 total touchdowns he contributed last year.
Gruden was critical of Cousins during a halftime interview Sunday — “You know who needs to step up? Our quarterback," he told sideline reporter Pam Oliver — but he changed his tune a bit as the Redskins turned their attention toward Week 3 opponent the New York Giants.
"He's a great competitor without a doubt," Gruden said Monday. "At quarterback, sometimes if you don't get victories, you feel like — everybody feels like — it's the quarterback's fault. Everybody's writing headlines on the quarterback. But there are a lot of issues that we have to correct. He's part of it, I'm part of it, the coordinators are part of it, then the rest of the players are part of it. It all fits in the equation."