Kirk Cousins leaned on faith after Falcons drafted Michael Penix

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins talks with members of the media during minicamp at the Atlanta Falcons Training Camp, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Credit: Jason Getz /

Credit: Jason Getz /

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins talks with members of the media during minicamp at the Atlanta Falcons Training Camp, Tuesday, May 14, 2024, in Flowery Branch, Ga. (Jason Getz / AJC)

Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins said he leaned on his faith when he found out that the team was selecting a quarterback “out of nowhere” in the recent NFL draft.

Cousins was doing a live podcast with former Braves standout and Parkview High graduate Jeff Francoeur at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta on Monday when he discussed his feelings about his new employer selecting Michael Penix in last month’s NFL draft. According to Cousins, he’s built his life “on a foundation that is better than football” and has dealt with challenges on the football field – even back to his college days – by leaning on his faith.

“So, even now, with the Falcons drafting a quarterback, out of nowhere, just three or four weeks ago, I was reminded again, Proverbs 3:5-6,” Cousins said near the end of the hour-long podcast recording. “I’m going to trust the Lord, and he’ll lead. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to go the way I, in my flesh, want to it go, but I’m going to trust him and let him lead. He hasn’t failed me yet. So, that’s really been my journey, and it will continue to be because he’s on the throne and I’m not.”

Cousins also gave an update on his recovery from his Achilles surgery.

“The Achilles is coming along well,” Cousins said. “They told me when I did it, end of October last year, they said it’d be nine months, which will take me to Aug. 1. I’m still kind of trying to close that gap there and get the final strength and mobility back, but we’re making progress every day.”

Cousins, who was raised in Chicago before moving to Holland, Michigan, was asked about his best youth sports memory.

“I remember in fourth grade, my first time playing organized football,” Cousin said. “Football was my favorite, but I only ever played at recess. And I come to find out that our coach for that year was going to be none other than Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary. His son was also on our team.”

Singletary, who starred for the Bears, lived in the same neighborhood as the Cousins family.

“So, I have Mike Singletary teaching me how to blitz in flag football,” Cousins said.

Cousins said the team won back-to-back championships. After seasons of flag football, he started to play weight-limited tackle football.

“I then went to tackle, and Mike then took the job to be the linebacker coach for the Baltimore Ravens,” Cousins said. “So, I always say, you know, we got him his job with coaching Ray Lewis.”

Cousins was asked if he had pregame rituals. He said he has some, but tries to remain flexible for when things change.

“One thing we do before every game, after we come in from warmups, like the last thing we do before we go back out to start the game,” Cousins said. “In our pads and everything, we walk into the shower area, like the open area off in the side and we – anybody who wants to – we just hold hands in a big circle or oval and we pray.

“Fans don’t see that. It’s kind of behind the scenes, but I think it’s a cool moment right before kickoff. We call it ‘Prayer in the Shower.’”

The locker room could be chaotic before the start of the game.

“So, they may have the rap music blaring, the countdown is going, we’re about to go out and do battle in 10 minutes, but we’ll say, ‘hey, Prayer in the Shower if anybody wants to join,” Cousins said. “It’s amazing how many guys will walk in there, and we’ll all hold hands in that moment and just pray. Ask God to obviously protect us, provide and give us the mental clarity. Remind us that we are playing for him and not for other people. So, that’s usually a tender moment right before kickoff usually.”

Cousins has been living in the Johns Creek/Alpharetta area, but the family is planning to move to Suwanee to be closer to the Falcons facilities in Flowery Branch.

“We are are going to cut the drive down a little bit,” Cousins said. “But we’re thrilled to be here. I looked at Julie (his wife) just yesterday in our neighborhood, and I said, this is probably our best setup we’ve had now in 13 years of professional sports as far as where we live and how we’ll do school and family, weather and the airport. It’s just a great place to live and work.”

The Bow Tie Chronicles