Terry McLaurin Taking Changes in Stride

October 25, 2022

Athlete Studio

Ohio State’s former wide receiver Terry McLaurin was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL draft by the Washington Commanders. Since that time the Commanders have started nine different players at the quarterback position and have changed their starter 13 times. This offseason’s acquisition of quarterback Carson Wentz was supposed to solve their issues at the position but he’s now out with a broken ring finger. 

The history of the Commander’s quarterback carousel is something that Terry McLaurin is certainly used to. He’s been the model for consistency in the Commanders’ offense, averaging about 1000 yards in every season he’s been in the NFL, regardless of who’s throwing the passes.

Although the Commanders are facing yet another change at the quarterback position in the wake of Carson Wentz’s injury in week 6, it may not be too tough of a transition. New starting quarterback, Taylor Heinicke, is no stranger to playing with Terry. 

Heinicke and McLaurin have started 15 games together in the NFL, the most for McLaurin with any one quarterback. The two have shown that they have some chemistry together as they connected for 962 yards and five touchdowns in the 2021 season.

“This is probably one of my better transitions because I’ve had more work with Taylor than I did Carson,” McLaurin said. “So I know what Taylor does and likes to do, and I think him and I have formed a really good connection.”

“Really, the difference is just, like, the routes on air, the same concepts that we run, he may look at it like it’s part of the progression differently, or he may see the leverage differently than Carson would. I think those are two little things that you’ve got to try to iron out, and it’s hard to iron out all of them in a week.”

McLaurin isn’t the only one that is looking at Heinicke starting in a positive light. The Commander's head coach Ron Rivera said that Heinicke’s extensive experience regarding football, and the exposure that he’s had to different offensive schemes, creates the feeling that they have an extra coach on the sideline when he isn’t playing. 

“Today we had a route out there, and one of the guys could have done something a little different, and Taylor right away explained it to him,” Rivera said. “ … He’s got a very good knowledge of it. And you saw it during the regular season when he was the backup going up to players and explaining certain things to them. He’s very solid in this.”

The Commanders may be changing their starting quarterback once again, but at least it will be Taylor Heinicke, a player that the team has confidence in.