During the Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, Terry McLaurin caught seven passes for 125 yards and one touchdown. That statline would make it seem as if the talented wideout was heavily involved in the gameplan and a constant target for Dwayne Haskins.
That wasn't truly the case, as a majority of McLaurin's work came in the second half after Washington trailed by double digits and the defense allowed more space for completions. Despite being the best and most consistent option for Washington's offense, McLaurin was not always the focus of the gameplan.
Former Washington wide receiver Santana Moss knows that needs to change in the future.
‘Watching our Washington Football Team the other day, there’s certain things that need to be done," Moss said on the Team980's The Brian Mitchell Show. "Quite frankly, it’s blatant that Terry needs to be involved out of the gate.”
“I think he’s going to be an integral part of this offense that, regardless of if the play is made or not, they’re going to have to try to find a way to get him involved earlier," Moss said.
The early drives for the offense have been one of -- if not the biggest -- struggle for the team in 2020. Three-and-outs, turnovers and stalled drives lead to early deficits that won't always be saved by a magical 17-point comeback.
A majority of that has stemmed from the inconsistent play from Haskins in the early quarters. Head coach Ron Rivera noted that the quarterback has come out too fast and all over the place rather than composed and comfortable under center.
Moss believes the solution to those problems starts with No. 17. By getting the ball in the hands of the best receiver in Washington, it gives McLaurin a chance to takeover games while allowing Haskins to feel comfortable with his favorite target.
“I believe that slows down things for the offense and it probably slows down things for the quarterback and allows him to gain more confidence," Moss said. "Then you can see those guys probably have a better outing than what we saw these past two weeks.”
Spending 10 seasons in Washington and 14 years in the NFL, Moss understands the importance of constantly being involved within the offense. Though he put together an impressive career, there were times where he wished he would have made a point to get more looks.
“The more I watch these games now, the more I kind of kick myself in the behind of not being as vocal as I should have been to guys back then, or to coaches back then," Moss said. "I was brought up differently from the guys who we quote-on-quote called ‘divas’. I wasn’t a diva. I was a guy that was always involved in the offense according to whatever the coach ran. I felt like, You let it flow and then eventually it flows to you.”
Knowing the talent McLaurin has, Moss doesn't want to see the same thing happen for the latest star receiver in the Burgundy and Gold. Making McLaurin the focus of the offense before the third quarter will not only help the receiver put up even bigger numbers, but it will help Haskins and the offense find some much-needed flow.