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Commanders are prioritizing, however not panicking about, Terry McLaurin’s involvement

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ASHBURN, Va. — The final three years have confirmed the Washington Commanders have a real No. 1 huge 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 manufacturing just 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 mentioned Wednesday. “There’s performs for him; there’s performs for every man. We’ve 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 just a little bit higher early on I do not suppose it is something we need to panic about or drive the difficulty on, as a result of I do know he’ll get his.”

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Though Wentz — and the Commanders as a complete — aren’t involved about McLaurin’s lack of early utilization, it is definitely been a subject of dialog in Ashburn. McLaurin mentioned he spoke individually with the offensive coordinator Scott Turner about what’s transpired to date, with the aim to seek out methods for him to make an impression earlier within the sport.

McLaurin known as his speak with Turner a “private dialog,” however mentioned 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 sport. McLaurin mentioned he is targeted on controlling what he can management, assured alternatives will come his manner early on within the close to future.

“I simply attempt to be prepared for my alternatives after they do come,” McLaurin mentioned. “Clearly, you need to become involved as early as attainable. Any time I can impression the sport as early as attainable, that is what I need to do. Coach Turner and Carson know that as effectively. On the similar time, typically these performs don ‘t come up as early as you’d need.”

For a participant of McLaurin’s caliber, it could be comprehensible if he went to Turner this week and demanded extra targets. Star wideouts throughout the league do such after they really feel they are not getting sufficient alternatives.

“I really feel like each receiver desires the ball as many occasions as they need,” McLaurin mentioned. “That is myself included.”

Being one to demand targets just isn’t McLaurin’s method, although. It by no means has been, even courting again to his Ohio State days from him. 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 whilst he is risen to stardom as knowledgeable.

“I actually care about profitable, too. If which means me getting the ball X quantity of occasions and [that] helps us win the sport, then I am all for it,” McLaurin mentioned. “If which means another person being concerned or we’re operating the ball successfully, I am down for that, too. Actually simply my mentality just isn’t attempting to deal with what number of occasions I am getting the ball or demanding it, essentially, simply being prepared when the ball involves me as a result of in case you’re not prepared, that is whenever you miss these alternatives.”

Though McLaurin hasn’t had many alternatives early in video games to date in 2022, he is definitely made probably the most of his possibilities within the second half of every contest.

In Week 1, McLaurin got here up huge when the Commanders wanted it most, pulling in a 49-yard landing within the fourth quarter. In Week 2, I’ve 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 price mentioning that the Commanders trailed by a number of possessions getting into the second half in each Week 2 and Week 3. Nonetheless, when given alternatives to make performs, McLaurin has come by — 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 now we have on the market and the particular man now we have,” Wentz mentioned. “Whether or not it is early on, center of the sport, or late within the sport, 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 try this.”

The primary likelihood 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 finest over the primary three weeks. The Cowboys at present lead the NFL in sacks with 13, one thing that does not bode effectively for the Commanders after Wentz was introduced down 9 occasions this previous Sunday in Philadelphia.

On the surface, McLaurin might 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 received the higher of Diggs when the 2 matched up in 2020, however the Cowboys cornerback held Washington’s star with out a catch after they lined up towards each other final season.

After spending this previous Sunday battling towards Eagles star Darius Slay, McLaurin is wanting ahead to a different troublesome take a look at this week towards a well-recognized foe in Diggs.

“If you’re going up towards one other nice participant, it forces you to lift up your stage,” McLaurin mentioned. “I am wanting 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 a number of respect for him and his sport. They belief him to journey with the highest receivers.

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