Right side, not left side, of Redskins' O-line is sputtering
Sept. 18, 2019
The Redskins wasted no time during Sunday's contest against the Dallas Cowboys to take a shot. On their first offensive play from scrimmage, quarterback Case Keenum stepped back in the pocket and uncorked a deep spiral several yards down the middle of the field.
The play was similar to one that worked a week ago in Philadelphia. While Keenum's pass fell incomplete, it was a sign of what the Redskins offense has been trying to do so far in 2019: get the ball to No. 17.
It's taken just two games for Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin to prove he is a legit NFL wide receiver. In less than six months, he's turned himself from a speedy third-round pick to the Burgundy and Gold's No. 1 option in the passing game.
McLaurin's production in Sunday's 31-21 loss to Dallas took a dip from his outstanding opener against Philadelphia, where he totaled 121 yards and a touchdown in his debut. Still, he led the Redskins in receiving yards (65) and targets (9) on Sunday, as well as tieing for the team-high in receptions (5), all while facing Dallas' Byron Jones, one of the better cornerbacks in the NFL.
To put it simply, he's quickly become, quarterback Case Keenum's go-to guy.
"He's poised. He doesn't get too out of his element," Redskins running back Adrian Peterson said on the rookie. "He runs great routes as well."
Peterson, like many of us, did not know much about McLaurin entering the season. After all, he had just 35 receptions as a senior at Ohio State a year ago.
"I didn't really know too much about him. I just thought maybe he was like a speed guy," Peterson said.
In college, McLaurin earned the reputation of being a great special teams player. But he impressed at wide receiver so much during training camp that head coach Jay Gruden had to pull him off the special teams unit and keep him strictly as a wideout, according to the FOX broadcast. That's how valuable the Redskins think he is.
Through two games, McLaurin has a total of 10 receptions, 189 yards, and a touchdown in each contest. He would've gone over 200 receiving yards in his stellar NFL debut if Keenum didn't slightly overthrow him on a deep post.
Since 1996, only four wide receivers have totalled more receiving yards in their first two NFL games than McLaurin. The four? Anquan Boldin, Marquise Brown, Stefon Diggs, and Will Fuller. To put into perspective, both Randy Moss (184) and DeAndre Hopkins (183) had fewer receiving yards in his first two games than McLaurin has (189).
It didn't take long for McLaurin to prove he is a lot more than just a speed guy. He can run every route and has impressed many of his teammates.
"He showed that he can be crisp when it comes to running routes," Peterson said. "It's very impressive to have that, the short game and be a threat as well."
There's still plenty of uncharted potential with McLaurin as well.
"We're still learning what Terry can do," Keenum said.
Through two weeks of the Redskins 2019 season, there has not been a lot to cheer about. Opening up the season with two losses, each to a division rival, was just about the worst-case scenario for the Burgundy and Gold.
But if McLaurin's first two NFL games are a sign of what's to come, the Redskins will have struck gold with their third-round pick.
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