If anyone can relate to the plight that Terry McLaurin has found himself in with the Washington Commanders, it's ex-Steelers wideout Hines Ward.
In his three seasons in the NFL, McLaurin has already experienced double-digit quarterback changes, having caught passes from Case Keenum to Alex Smith to Dwayne Haskins to Garrett Gilbert, among a handful of others.
Now, while Ward was fortunate enough to pair up with Ben Roethlisberger for the latter half of his career, he, too, got whiplash from the number of signal-callers he ran routes for to begin his time with Pittsburgh.
"I get it," Ward told NBC Sports Washington in a Thursday interview. "I played with nine different quarterbacks before Ben got on the scene."
Ward lamented "trying to get that rapport" with his cavalcade of QBs when "every year it [seemed] like there's a new guy." Up to this point, McLaurin has handled his rapid rotation with what's becoming his trademark maturity, but even though he's managed to still post impressive stats for the Commanders, he certainly wouldn't mind a little more stability on offense like Ward eventually found.
After explaining why he feels a kinship with Washington's top target, Ward went on to compliment McLaurin, a fellow third-round draft pick. Ward apparently still grinds out film sessions, and when he turns on footage of McLaurin, he can't help but enjoy what he sees.
"What Terry's done, it's just phenomenal," Ward said. "I think he's a hell of a wide receiver and just the skill set that he has and the competitiveness that he has, I just love watching him.
"Watching him on tape, especially in one-on-ones, this guy will scratch, claw, get you at the line of scrimmage, catch it even though you've got tight coverage. The one thing that stands out when I'm watching film on Terry, he's having fun. He's having fun going out there and competing."
But following that helping of praise, Ward couldn't help but make a statement that has become common for those who follow McLaurin's exploits.
"The only missing piece is, he's just missing a quarterback," Ward said.
Maybe, perhaps, possibly, potentially and hopefully, Washington can finally give McLaurin that missing piece this offseason.