Getting into the 2019 season, the Redskins arguably had the worst large receiving corps in the whole NFL. Nevertheless, it did not take lengthy for the Burgundy and Gold to understand they’d a star within the making.
Terry McLaurin had a unbelievable NFL debut in Week 1 final season, catching 5 passes for 125 yards (which may have been over 200 had Case Keenum been a tad extra correct on a couple of throws) and one landing in Washington’s 32-27 loss to the Eagles. The third-round decide parlayed his unbelievable Week 1 efficiency into among the finest seasons by a rookie pass-catcher in franchise historical past, ending the 2019 marketing campaign with 58 receptions for 919 yards and 7 touchdowns.
McLaurin enters the 2020 season as a budding star; there is not any query about it. However exterior of him, there are many questions surrounding the group’s receiving corps as to who will step and produce because the No. 2 wideout.
Whereas these questions aren’t going away anytime quickly, McLaurin is assured within the group’s pass-catching group. In a latest Zoom name with native media, McLaurin stated he believes that two of his fellow second-year receivers — Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon — have the prospect to make large strides in 2020.
“Steven and Kelvin look nice,” McLaurin stated. “I can clearly see the advance that they’ve made of their video games and I’m simply excited to be part of that group.”
Though McLaurin had one of the best rookie season of the three, each Sims and Harmon confirmed loads of potential in direction of the top of the season, notably as soon as then-rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins was named the starter.
As a option to construct on the chemistry Haskins and the three then-rookie wideouts began to type on the finish of 2019, the 4 of them deliberate to coach in Florida this offseason and hire an Airbnb collectively. However then the coronavirus pandemic unfold throughout the USA in fast style in mid-March, placing an finish to these plans shortly.
The pandemic has prevented the Redskins from holding in-person offseason actions, too, however McLaurin, Sims, and Harmon have all nonetheless been in a position to prepare with Haskins on their very own.
When requested about Sims, McLaurin stated he was impressed by the enhancements the speedy wideout has made together with his footwork this offseason.
“With Steven Sims, I really feel like he’s most likely made one of many greatest jumps to me personally due to how clear his ft are,” McLaurin stated. “He’s all the time been quick, he’s all the time been fast, however typically he probably would slip…however you could possibly actually inform his ft are so clear and the best way he’s working his route his stems seems to be the identical. I’m actually excited to see him flourish in an offense that may showcase his versatility inside or out.”
In the course of the last 4 video games of the season, Sims totaled 20 receptions for 230 yards and 4 touchdowns. Sims, an undrafted participant from Kansas, proved to be a house run risk each time he touched the ball, whether or not that be as a receiver, rusher, or even as a returner.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 31, 2019
Whereas Harmon’s numbers weren’t as fairly as Sims’, the N.C. State product completed with three or extra receptions in 5 of the Redskins last seven video games final season.
“Kelvin is shifting very well. He has an ideal burst in the best way he’s working his routes,” McLaurin stated. “His ft are clear, he’s all the time had actually good arms. After we’re connecting on deep balls, normally everyone form of expects me being the quick man I’m going to hit on all of them and issues like that, however Kelvin’s timing has been nice and he and Dwayne are actually constructing that chemistry.”
Haskins spoke to reporters final week, too, and had nothing however nice issues to say in regards to the three wideouts.
“I imply, going via the younger guys, Kelvin is in nice form, he’s working like I’ve by no means seen him earlier than,” Haskins stated. “Steven seems to be nice. I actually don’t even fear about them being in form it’s extra so simply the communication.”
And for McLaurin?
“It’s one of the best I’ve seen Terry and I’ve identified Terry since I used to be a freshman in faculty,” Haskins stated. “So, everyone’s placing in that work and it’s displaying.”
Though he is by far essentially the most confirmed of the three, McLaurin wouldn’t describe himself because the “alpha” of the receiving group. Nevertheless, he defined that in these exercises, he tries to set an instance for the opposite receivers.
“I don’t actually attempt to get into being the alpha per se, however I do know I attempt to set a great tempo to our exercises and issues like that,” McLaurin stated. “[I] attempt to go first once we’re working routes, attempt to run the routes proper, attempt to set the proper instance for the blokes that we’re throwing with and simply attempt to make it look good. Making an attempt to make Dwayne really feel as comfy as potential is my primary goal.”
Whereas McLaurin performed virtually solely on the surface in 2020, he defined that he, together with the opposite wideouts, has the flexibility to line up from a number of totally different positions in new offensive coordinator Scott Turner’s offense.
“I’ve been making an attempt to be taught all of it conceptually and I really feel like that offers our group versatility,” McLaurin stated on lining up at three large receiver positions. “I really feel prefer it offers me versatility and it’s one thing that I really feel I can deal with mentally simply studying conceptually this new offense.”
The expectations of Washington’s large receiving corps aren’t excessive exterior of Redskins Park. However between the enhancements he is seen from his teammates and with Turner’s offensive system in place, McLaurin is assured that the group will be capable of ship in 2020.
“The receivers that we have now, not simply together with me, Steven and Kelvin, however with the opposite receivers that we have now, I really feel like this might be a really receiver-friendly offense,” McLaurin stated. “We simply acquired to make it possible for we’re keyed into what we have to be doing on each play.”
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