Terry McLaurin and Dwayne Haskins have been teammates for five straight seasons, the first three with the Ohio State Buckeyes and the last two as members of the Washington Football Team.
So, if there's one person who knows Haskins incredibly well, it's McLaurin.
Following McLaurin's incredible rookie season and Haskins' solid finish in 2019, both players were expected to be significant pieces of Washington's offense moving forward. For McLaurin, that remains the case; he's emerged as one of the NFL's best wideouts. However, things have soured quickly for Haskins, who was relegated to third-string last week just four games into the 2020 season.
On Thursday, McLaurin spoke with local media for the first time since Haskins' benching. The second-year wide receiver said he plans to do whatever he can to help Haskins, but stressed the quarterback "can't feel sorry" for himself moving forward.
"I think it's easy when you get knocked down in life to sulk or feel bad for ourselves," McLaurin said. "Oftentimes, the only way you get through something is you attack it head-on. You've got to be honest with yourself. You have to ask yourself what you can do better and attack it from there."
McLaurin stressed that the NFL is a 'What have you done for me lately?' league and that there are no handouts at the highest level of the sport. Just because Haskins was a first-round pick and a highly-touted prospect means very little anymore.
"I think he just needs to continue to just grind, man," McLaurin said. "Nothing's easy in this football league, man. Nothing is going to be handed to you. Nobody is going to feel sorry for you, either."
The quarterback's current situation is hardly the first time Haskins has faced adversity.
Last season, he was drafted by a head coach that didn't want him and had to wait his time behind two largely unproven veterans before taking over the starting role. At Ohio State, Haskins had to sit behind J.T. Barrett for two years before earning the QB1 position over Joe Burrow during a tough spring competition.
The 23-year-old quarterback has responded well to adversity before and McLaurin is confident he will pull through again this time, too.
"He's done that in the past and I believe he's going to do that going forward," McLaurin said. "It's only going to help him individually and our football team going forward."
While both Haskins and McLaurin are fierce competitors on the field, they're good friends off of it, too, and talk very often. McLaurin made it clear that if Haskins needs anything from him, the wideout will be able to come through for his quarterback.
"He's going through some adversity right now, but it's nothing he can't come through," McLaurin said. "I just want him to know he has the support from me anyway I can help him, anyway I can support him, I'm willing to do that."