Ron Rivera took over as Redskins head coach in early January, tasked with the challenge of turning around a football team that has struggled plenty as of late.
After assembling his staff, one of the first things the new head coach did was have a meeting with them to identify which players on the roster would be a part of the team's "core" as they build for the future. As Rivera explained during an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast during Super Bowl week, it didn't take the head coach long to realize wide receiver Terry McLaurin completely fits the his vision for the future.
On Friday, Rivera was asked by Fox Sports 1's Jay Glazer about the team's wide receiver group heading into the 2020 season. The head coach took that opportunity to rave about his second-year pass-catcher.
"Terry McLaurin's been a treat," Rivera said. "He's been a treat to get to know."
As a rookie in 2019, McLaurin was one of the lone bright spots in an otherwise forgetful season for the Redskins. Then wideout finished with a team-high 919 receiving yards, just eight short of breaking Gary Clark's franchise rookie record. Additionally, his seven TD receptions accounted for nearly half of Washington's touchdowns in the passing game.
Rivera told Glazer that McLaurin reminds the head coach of one of his former wideouts in Carolina: D.J. Moore.
"[McLaurin is] a guy that could be on the verge [of stardom], he really is," Rivera said. "He reminds me so much of a D.J. Moore that we had in Carolina. Just an outstanding young man."
Moore, the Panthers' first-round pick in 2018, had a promising rookie season, but truly emerged as one of the NFL's better wide receivers last season. Moore finished his breakout campaign in 2019 with 87 receptions for 1,175 yards and four touchdowns. The wideout's catch total was good for a top 15 finish, while only eight other receivers had more receiving yards than him last season.
Like McLaurin, Moore also played with three different starting quarterbacks in 2019. What both receivers were able to accomplish a year ago, given their respective quarterback situations, is nothing short of incredible.
The coronavirus pandemic has prevented all NFL teams from having offseason activities, but McLaurin has still found a way to build his connection with his quarterback Dwayne Haskins. McLaurin, along with a pair of other Redskins receivers -- Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon -- has worked out with Haskins multiple times this offseason, even as recently as this weekend.
"I've got to say, I like the wide receivers," Rivera said.
If Haskins can build off his strong finish to the 2019 season, McLaurin could have an even bigger second-year than Moore did and really establish himself as one of the rising stars in the league.
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