Scott Turner admits he must do a better job of getting Terry McLaurin the football

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  • Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Washington Football Team
    Washington Football Team
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  • Terry McLaurin
    Terry McLaurin
    American football player
  • Trevon Diggs
    Trevon Diggs
    American football cornerback

Early this season, it looked like Washington wide receiver Terry McLaurin would blow past 1,000 yards, possibly catch 100 passes and earn a trip to his first Pro Bowl.

Unfortunately for McLaurin, his production has waned in recent weeks, and his last 100-yard game came back in a Week 11 win over the Panthers. Since that time, McLaurin has played in five games, caught 12 passes for 164 yards and has not scored.

Don’t blame McLaurin. Also, don’t believe social media narratives that players such as Trevon Diggs or Darius Slay locked down McLaurin. Watch the film. It doesn’t lie.

McLaurin’s lack of production in recent weeks boils down to two things: quarterback play and a lack of opportunities.

While some wide receivers will complain and lobby for more opportunities if they aren’t getting enough targets, that’s not McLaurin’s style, said offensive coordinator Scott Turner.

“No. He doesn’t, and that’s the thing, we gotta do a better job,” Turner said.

Turner then acknowledged he must do a better job of ensuring McLaurin receives more targets.

I have to do a better job of finding ways to get Terry the ball. We had him on some plays, targeted. We did early in the game, that maybe obviously aren’t necessarily high percentage deals, but you know, get some stuff where the ball gets in his hands. It’s not always just throwing it to him down the field. Terry just comes and works and he does his job. I’ve talked to him, we have good conversations. He’s a competitor, but he’s not that type. I mean, he wants the ball, he wants to compete, but he’s focused on doing his jobs. I think he sees it. He sees that there’s some plays where we’re trying to get him the ball.

On the first offensive play in last week’s loss at Dallas, Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke went deep to McLaurin, and the pass was intercepted.

Social media went crazy, saying Diggs had McLaurin locked up.

Upon further review, McLaurin had Diggs beaten, and a better throw could’ve been six points for Washington. McLaurin had a step on Diggs, but Heinicke underthrew the pass, laying it inside and leading to an easy pick for Diggs.

Turner discussed that play.

Obviously he was targeted on the first play of the game. I thought he actually did a really nice job of stepping on toes and starting to go past him. There was a little bit of pushback and I think Taylor, if you’d ask him, the ball’s a little bit of a low trajectory and left it inside, you know? He made a play, but, you know, we were trying to go after him and have Terry go past him. And Terry’s done that before. There’s not really many DB’s that we feel like Terry can’t go toe to toe with.

The key to getting McLaurin more targets is lining him up all over the formation. Don’t just sling it deep to say you tried. In the first pass to McLaurin last week, it was a good call, and the execution looked good on McLaurin’s part. It’s tough to blame Turner or McLaurin for that one.

Turner spoke of high-percentage throws, which is on him to ensure McLaurin receives those types of targets. Easy routes, such as slants, curls, crossers, just to get the ball in McLaurin’s hands. It would not only open up Washington’s offense, but it would also make life easier for Heinicke.

With 899 yards on the season, McLaurin is in danger of not going over the 1,000-yard mark. That’s just not fair. McLaurin is one of the NFL’s best wide receivers, but multiple things are holding him back right now. That must change.