Stop with the nicknames - Terry McLaurin is The Captain now

JP Finlay
·3 min read

Stop with the nicknames - Terry McLaurin is The Captain now originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

At a time when the team and its fanbase needed it most, Washington found an unlikely star in wide receiver Terry McLaurin. 

A third-round pick in 2019 who many thought would be helpful on offense but a special teams ace, McLaurin demolished the low expectations set last year with a near franchise record-breaking rookie season. 

This year? He’s exploded. 

Through 10 games he has 62 catches and 871 yards. He’s poised to be Washington’s first 1,000-yard receiver since 2016 and its most dominant receiver since, well, maybe Art Monk?

And it’s not just the on-field performance that makes McLaurin stand out. He does everything right - literally everything. Just ask Alex Smith. 

“It’s going to be tough for me to come up with all the great adjectives I’d like to come up with to describe Terry. He’s a special, special player. A special teammate, a special leader," Smith said Tuesday. "Not just his play-making ability and competitiveness, but I think those are things that just really show up on film, is his competitive spirit, his ability to make plays. I think his work ethic, his attitude, his approach to the game for a young player—it’s almost like he’s wise for his years for sure, so to speak. Really, really special player and a special teammate. We’re lucky to have him definitely.”

It’s not just lip service. A few weeks back McLaurin was unanimously named a captain of the Washington Football Team

Not many receivers get named captain, and not many captains get named unanimously. But that’s just who Terry is.

“He just continues to lead by example. He’s a tremendous young man who understands and gets things and does things the right way," Washington Football head coach Ron Rivera said.

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Here’s the thing with McLaurin - none of this changes him.

Not the praise from Smith, who's been in the NFL for 15 years. Not the praise from Rivera, who's been in the NFL nearly 40 years. Not being named captain either. 

"Nothing has really changed for me personally," McLaurin said Tuesday. "You have a greater sense of responsibility because you have the C on your chest but I feel like the reason why my teammates trusted me in this position is because of what I've done up to this point and the growth that I'm showing each and every day as a player, as a person and as a leader."

He worked his ass off before being named captain, and he’s working his ass off now. That’s why he’s the captain.

He played his ass off before being named captain, and he’s playing his ass off now. That’s why he’s the captain.

He approaches every situation with the correct mix of seriousness and fun, recognizing what it means to be a professional athlete making millions while enjoying a kids game. 

McLaurin is more than a unique talent, he’s a damn unicorn. He’s everything a coach could want, he’s everything a teammate could want, and he’s everything a fan could want. 

So as Washington fans continue to debate what McLaurin’s nickname should be, and silly monikers are bandied about on social media, recognize the obvious. 

Terry McLaurin’s not just a captain of the Washington Football Team. He’s THE captain of the Washington Football Team. 

Yankee fans famously called Derek Jeter “The Captain” but it wasn’t just because he wore the "C" on his chest. It was because Jeter was an elite player that never took any situation for granted, hustled when he didn’t need to and was an example for his teammates. Not just when it was easy, but all the time. 

Sure sounds like McLaurin. 

Scary Terry. F1. Chef Terry. Stop it. Just stop. 

Terry McLaurin is The Captain now.