Following Wednesday's practice, Redskins wide receiver Terry McLaurin sat down with NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay to discuss the rookie's hot start in the NFL.
Below is a transcript of their conversation.
JP Finlay: You may not like this title, but you are absolutely the best story going with the Washington Redskins right now. You were nice enough to come on with us after the game in Miami where you had two touchdowns. If you recall, they were making your caricature while we were on the pregame show.
Terry McLaurin: I appreciate that. Thank you so much. Could you give me a contact with the guy who made it? I want to give him a thank you. It's really solid, I'm probably going to frame this in my house.
JP: What is that pose?
Terry: I like to dance and everything like that. I try to have a little fun. Coach Callahan allows us to have fun, and it's a big deal to score in this league. It was kind of spur of the moment, but I'm a fan of Kodak Black the rapper, he's from South Florida. So I was kind of doing one of his dances, and that [pose] is his signature thing. Just having a little fun.
JP: Let's talk about you. You are blowing up. What is it like to be a relatively quiet dude from Indianapolis blowing up nationally across the NFL?
Terry: The first thing I try to do is stay humble. I'm very fortunate and blessed to be in this situation. God has blessed me with an ability to play this game at the highest level and given me a platform to do more than just play football. Obviously, that's what I do, but it's not who I am. I'm just enjoying living my dream. How many people can wake up every day and say they are doing exactly what they want to do? And I don't take that for granted. That's probably why I go so hard every single day. That's what I always see myself doing. I took school very seriously, I graduated in three and a half years. This way always my Plan A. This was always my dream. To be living it, I don't take a day for granted. So while the pats on the back are nice, I never relish in that. I always think about, 'what can I do to get better? What can I do next to take my game to the next level?' As soon as you get complacent, I feel like that's when bad things happen. If you're not growing, you're either staying stagnant or getting worse. I want to be someone who's always getting better.
JP: So how are you growing today? What are you specifically trying to do today trying to improve on?
Terry: Coming into this practice, I had a drop this past weekend that has been on my mind a lot. The drop probably alleviated a little bit of pressure off our offense, getting out of third-and-long and getting backed up, things like that. My mentality personally, I know things like that happen, but I want to be a guy who is close to perfect on the field. Coming to practice today, I told [wide receivers coach] Ike [Hilliard] on the sideline on Sunday, and I talked to Coach Hartline and Coach Keenan from Ohio State, 'back to the fundamentals.' Watching the ball in, catching the ball with my eyes. Sometimes you kind of get lazy with it and think you got it, caught so many balls consistently, but I feel like not forgetting about the fundamentals is what's really going to keep you sharp. So my main focus today at practice was catching every ball, looking it in, catching stuff with my eyes, and obviously still honing in on my assignments in practice.
JP: You talked about Ohio State. You reached out to your college coaches. You're wearing an Ohio State jacket, at least one Ohio State bracelet, how important is that connection to your school for you?
Terry: I feel like it built the foundation of the type of player I am today, the mentality I bring to the game. I've always been a hard worker, I was raised that way. But just the minute details of being elite will separate good players from great players. I learned that and I was groomed that way at Ohio State. I don't like to dwell on the past, but at the same time, I feel like it's a reason I'm in the situation that I am. The adversity I went through redshirting, being unselfish on special teams, only catching like 30 balls my senior year and still having the chance to be productive. I try to bring that to the NFL, and I feel like that's what sets me apart. I would like to think that I'm an unselfish guy, but when the ball comes my way, I'm going to have the ability to make the play.
JP: I think that has been shown so far. You're a rookie. How tough has it been for you working with three different quarterbacks so far?
Terry: It's a little different than what I'm used to, but I don't use that as an excuse at all. We're all in the NFL, and at the end of the day, it's a production-based league. I try to make their job as easy as possible and make them as comfortable as possible. Whether that's meeting with them extra, getting locked in with signals they may have, where they want the ball to be thrown. That's my job as a receiver, in my opinion, to make their job easier. Continue to give good body language and make a play when they put the ball in my area.
JP: Every dude in that locker room, 53 on the active roster, 10 on the practice squad, was the best player on their high school team, has an alpha mentality, played big-time college football. Some guys don't get to play. Dwayne Haskins is a friend of yours. You went to college together, you spent real-time with this person. I'm not asking you about on the field, should he be out there, when should he play, stuff like that. What are your conversations with Dwayne like now?
Terry: I like that question a lot, because people often forget about the person and just see the player. Dwayne is a competitor, first and foremost, and I hope that's known by everybody. He wants to be out there, but he's also supporting the guys who are out there. He's not a selfish guy at all. He's continuously getting better. What I've seen and what I'm so encouraged about is his growth and the way he's manning the offense. Whether he's with the 1s like he was today, or when he's with scout team, he's treating it like a game and as if he's going to be a starter. He may not know if he is or not, but it starts with your mentality, and I feel like then you can make the necessary steps and put in the work to become what you want to become. I'm just making sure his confidence is up and making sure he's encouraged, continue to work and be ready for his moment. Guys see it every day in the NFL, you just have to be ready for your moment. You don't know when it's going to come. But heaven forbid, if you're not ready for your moment, and I feel like he's doing everything possible to be ready.
JP: How did he look with the 1s in practice?
Terry: I think he looked really good today. Obviously, he's going to say there are some throws he wants back. Just his clarity in the huddle is the No. 1 thing that I noticed. He didn't really have any stutters, he wasn't really looking for the call. Little things like that, I feel like everybody noticed. You see a guy, who is the head of your offense, with confidence, it gives everyone else calm and confidence as well.
JP: Callahan said it seemed like he was taking a major step forward, to your point. Not just three different quarterbacks, but now you're on your second head coach in six, seven weeks of NFL action. How hard has this week and that transition been for you?
Terry: I mean, it's an adjustment. Like I said, it's another taste of adversity for us as a team, not just me. But I feel like we have great leaders, great captains, and I just try to follow in their footsteps. Me personally, I try to control what I can control. I don't control what happens in the front office, or this case the quarterback. If I'm putting good plays on film, or if I'm where I need to be, if I'm making plays, then I feel like I'm helping the team. That's what my mentality is, that's what I'm going to continue to do.
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