During his first NFL preseason in 2012, Kirk Cousins turned 24. The team's tight ends coach Sean McVay was 26. Although they sat on different sides of Washington's film room, the two became fast friends.

In 2014, McVay was promoted to offensive coordinator. In 2015, Cousins was named the starting quarterback in training camp. After winning just seven games the previous two seasons, the team went 9-7 and won the NFC East with Cousins and McVay working together for a full season. The following year, Cousins made his first Pro Bowl.

McVay left Washington for the Rams' head coaching job in 2017. His squad won the NFC West and he was named NFL Coach of the Year.

"It was a process of growing alongside one another," Cousins says. "The first year, he wasn't calling the plays every game. Jay Gruden was handling that. And then the next year, it elevated to Sean calling all the plays. We kind of grew together as people, and it was a give and take. He taught me a lot about my reads, my footwork, my process and gave me confidence. And in turn, I gave him feedback about the plays that I liked and why I liked them, and he heard all of that, and allowed it to affect the way that he called games and helped me out. And, I think we both benefited from one another, but I'm so grateful to have played for him."

Their relationship is so close that McVay even kept Cousins in the loop as he took a new job across the country.

"He's always been a great communicator," Cousins says. "He kept me posted on what was going on and I was thrilled for him. Fortunately, it was a pretty seamless transition to Coach Gruden calling the plays again. You just have to move on, It's part of the way the league works."

Cousins is likely moving on too. With the Redskins trading for Alex Smith and Cousins becoming a free agent (unless they franchise-tag him again), he will look for a new home with a new head coach and offensive coordinator. Jared Goff just made a Pro Bowl with the Rams, so Los Angeles is an unlikely destination for Cousins. The Jets, Broncos and Browns appear to be more likely landing spots.

As for free agents looking to sign with the Rams, Cousins endorses the experience of being coached by McVay.

"He's really good with people, he's a dynamic leader, he can command a room, great communicator, positive person, very intelligent, hard-worker," he says. "There are a lot of positive things I can say about Sean. And he's had success for a reason. He belongs there in the role that he is in."

Cousins spoke with ThePostGame on Super Bowl Radio Row on behalf of Bose and its QCC35 II headphones and SoundSport Free earbuds.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.

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