Why 49ers' impressive team culture inspires Commanders' McLaurin

Why 49ers' impressive team culture inspires Commanders' McLaurin originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Terry McLaurin was on the losing end of the 49ers' 27-10 win over the Washington Commanders on Sunday at FedExField, but he came away inspired to one day contribute to a winning culture.

The Washington wide receiver shared with reporters after the game how difficult it is to watch a well-run team such as the 49ers up close and why he's so impressed with the culture they've created and sustained throughout the years.

"It's definitely tough," McLaurin said. "I mean, you want to be a part of something that sustainable and you're winning and competing at a high level. You know, they've got a great staff over there. They've got great players. You can tell that they love playing together.

"They do a great job of getting everybody involved. Defense is flying around. They have fun. You know, I got to spend some time with a lot of those guys -- like six or seven of them made the Pro Bowl last year. I really got to be around them, and it kind of reminds me [of] a little bit at Ohio State. You know what I mean, the kind of culture that they have and everything. You see why they have the success that they do."

McLaurin was selected by Washington in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, one round after the 49ers took wide receiver Deebo Samuel, and has been one of the league's better wideouts since he debuted five years ago. McLaurin hauled in four receptions for 61 yards and one touchdown Sunday against the 49ers, and is on pace to surpass 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth consecutive season.

Despite McLaurin's sustained success, the Commanders have yet to post a winning record in any of his five seasons. The 28-year-old hopes to one day experience playing for a team with a similar culture as the 49ers'.

"When you're going against teams like that, you got to play, not perfect, but you got to make the most of every opportunity," McLaurin said. "You can't turn over the ball. You got to extend drives and score in the red zone. I think, top to bottom, they have All-Pro players at every level. You got to give them credit for building that team and for the players going out there and executing.

"Hopefully, I can be a part of something like that, but I'm just focused on myself, my world and my journey and I'm going to keep working to be the best player I can be."

McLaurin signed a three-year, $68.3 million contract extension with Washington prior to the 2022 season and, barring a blockbuster trade, doesn't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.

And as of right now, the 4-12 Commanders don't appear to be following in San Francisco's footsteps.

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