ASHBURN, Va. — The final three years have confirmed the Washington Commanders have a real No. 1 extensive receiver in Terry McLaurin. But, the fourth-year veteran — who simply inked a three-year, $71 million contract extension this previous July — has been a non-factor throughout the first half in every of the Burgundy and Gold’s first three video games of the 2022 season.
In Week 1, McLaurin had only one catch within the first half of Jacksonville. In Detroit, McLaurin’s first catch got here on the primary drive of the second half. Then final week towards Philadelphia, No. 17 registered only one goal, one which was uncatchable, earlier than halftime.
Clearly, that is not how the Commanders envision utilizing McLaurin shifting ahead. However the 26-year-old’s lack of first-half production isn’t one thing the Commanders are nervous about shifting ahead, although.
“I do not suppose it is something that we need to overreact on,” quarterback Carson Wentz stated Wednesday. “There’s performs for him; there’s performs for every man. We have not executed them effectively, but, however I am very assured in getting him and the opposite guys concerned extra early, particularly if we are able to execute somewhat bit higher early on. I do not suppose it is something we need to panic about or pressure the problem on, as a result of I do know he’ll get his.”
Though Wentz — and the Commanders as a complete — aren’t involved about McLaurin’s lack of early utilization, it is actually been a subject of dialog in Ashburn. McLaurin stated he spoke individually with the offensive coordinator Scott Turner about what’s transpired so far, with the objective to seek out methods for him to make an impression earlier within the recreation.
McLaurin referred to as his speak with Turner a “private dialog,” however stated the offensive coordinator made it clear to him it is a excessive precedence to get him and the remainder of Washington’s offensive weapons concerned earlier within the recreation. McLaurin stated he is targeted on controlling what he can management, assured alternatives will come his means early on within the close to future.
“I simply attempt to be prepared for my alternatives once they do come,” McLaurin stated. “Clearly, you need to become involved as early as potential. Any time I can impression the sport as early as potential, that is what I need to do. Coach Turner and Carson know that as effectively. On the similar time, generally these performs do not come up as early as you’d need.”
For a participant of McLaurin’s caliber, it will be comprehensible if he went to Turner this week and demanded extra targets. Star wideouts throughout the league do such once they really feel they don’t seem to be getting sufficient alternatives.
“I really feel like each receiver needs the ball as many instances as they need,” McLaurin stated. “That is myself included.”
Being one to demand targets isn’t McLaurin’s method, although. It by no means has been, even relationship again to his Ohio State days. Having performed a number of roles all through his faculty profession, McLaurin adopted the mindset of being a team-first participant, one thing that hasn’t modified at the same time as he is risen to stardom as knowledgeable.
“I actually care about successful, too. If which means me getting the ball X quantity of instances and [that] helps us win the sport, then I am all for it,” McLaurin stated. “If which means another person being concerned or we’re operating the ball successfully, I am down for that, too. Actually simply my mentality isn’t attempting to give attention to what number of instances I am getting the ball or demanding it, essentially, simply being prepared when the ball involves me as a result of if you happen to’re not prepared, that is while you miss these alternatives.”
Though McLaurin hasn’t had many alternatives early in video games so far in 2022, he is actually made probably the most of his possibilities within the second half of every contest.
In Week 1, McLaurin got here up massive when the Commanders wanted it most, pulling in a 49-yard landing within the fourth quarter. In Week 2, he caught 4 passes for 75 yards, together with a powerful 35-yard sliding seize. Then final week, McLaurin hauled in six passes from Wentz over the ultimate half-hour for 102 yards, his first time topping the century mark this yr.
Sure, it is value mentioning that the Commanders trailed by a number of possessions coming into the second half in each Week 2 and Week 3. Nonetheless, when given alternatives to make performs, McLaurin has come via — evident by his second-half manufacturing over the previous two weeks.
Wentz believes McLaurin’s second-half manufacturing has been a results of the offensive lastly executing performs. Whereas within the first half, the unit has come out flat throughout. Washington’s QB1 then went on to reiterate that nobody in Ashburn is nervous about McLaurin’s lack of first-half manufacturing and that issues will change shifting ahead.
“We have seen what he is nonetheless capable of do. Everyone knows who we now have on the market and the particular man we now have,” Wentz stated. “Whether or not it is early on, center of the sport, or late within the recreation, we’ll know he’ll present up, he’ll make his performs. The hope is to get him going earlier as a result of which means we’re rolling higher earlier. Hopefully, we are able to do this.”
The primary probability for Wentz and McLaurin to show issues round comes this weekend in Dallas towards a Cowboys protection that is been one of many league’s greatest over the primary three weeks. The Cowboys at the moment lead the NFL in sacks with 13, one thing that does not bode effectively for the Commanders after Wentz was introduced down 9 instances this previous Sunday in Philadelphia.
On the surface, McLaurin will probably be matched up towards cornerback Trevon Diggs, who earned All-Professional honors a season in the past after recording an NFL-best 11 interceptions. McLaurin obtained the higher of Diggs when the 2 matched up in 2020, however the Cowboys cornerback held Washington’s star and not using a catch once they lined up towards each other final season.
After spending this previous Sunday battling towards Eagles star Darius Slay, McLaurin is trying ahead to a different tough check this week towards a well-recognized foe in Diggs.
“Whenever you’re going up towards one other nice participant, it forces you to lift up your stage,” McLaurin stated. “I am trying ahead to the problem, like I’m yearly. Hopefully, I am going to get some 1-on-1 alternatives to assault him and become involved early. I’ve quite a lot of respect for him and his recreation. They belief him to journey with the highest receivers. I am trying ahead to that matchup.”