In just his second professional season, Washington Football Team wide receiver Terry McLaurin has established himself as one of the best pass-catchers in the NFL this season.
However, what he's shown on the practice field has been just as impressive to his head coach as what McLaurin has accomplished on game days.
"When you watch that young group of wide receivers, you do see them seeing Terry as an example," Ron Rivera told reporters on Friday. "I think that's kind of when they practice as a group, they practice as hard as they can."
Despite all the success McLaurin has found over his first two seasons, the wideout still practices like he did last summer: a third-round rookie looking to earn a spot.
McLaurin's mentality and character have translated over to the rest of the wide receiver room, which consists of a number of first-, second-, and third-year players still trying to establish themselves in the NFL.
"When you're a leader of the group, for the most part, the guy that leads by example continues to practice that way, it elevates everybody," Rivera said. "Everyone else practices that way."
Rivera compared McLaurin's impact to one of the head coach's teammates back when he was a linebacker on the Chicago Bears: Hall of Famer Mike Singletary.
"Way back in the day, Mike Singletary had a habit of practicing at 100 miles an hour," Rivera said. "Guys used to call him a tempo-violator. But that was just the way it was, and it got everybody going. We practiced that way and that helped us be a better football team."
Singletary's efforts clearly worked.
Throughout the 1980s, the Bears had one of the best defenses in the entire NFL, with the 1985 Super Bowl-winning group considered by many the best defense in the history of the league.
In Washington, Rivera is starting to see that same sort of impact happening with his standout wide receiver.
"Guys feed off the energy of their teammates and that's what you see guys do with Terry," Rivera said.