The Washington Football Team focused their offseason effort on upgrading the wide receiver crew around rising star Terry McLaurin, signing Curtis Samuel, drafting Dyami Brown in the third round and adding veteran slot wideout Adam Humphries.
The hope is the additions, particularly the Samuel signing, will pave the way for McLaurin to see one-on-one matchups in 2021.
"It's not going to necessarily allow those teams to play with the safety on the hash and those double coverages I was seeing a lot last year," McLaurin said, per the team's official website.
Underscoring the dire straits last season, at times, McLaurin was the only Washington receiver on the field who'd even been drafted. Nevertheless, the second-year wideout put up 1,118 yards in a vertically challenged Washington offense. The next closest wide receiver on the roster was Cam Sims with 477 yards (tight end Logan Thomas finished second on the team in receiving with 670 yards, and RB J.D. McKissic had 589 yards).
Defenses could load up to stop McLaurin, not fretting any other Washington weapon could do damage.
The belief is that the offseason additions will open up Scott Turner's entire offense.
"I just think it's going to open it up, for me personally, down the field, intermediate and short," McLaurin said. "But also, it's gonna allow other guys to make some plays."
McLaurin will remain the No. 1 threat in Washington. The 6-foot speedster owns the route-running skills, point-of-catch acumen, and speed to give any defensive back headaches. Despite dominating in a struggling offense for the first two years of his career in D.C., McLaurin is somehow underrated. His name is rarely mentioned in the top tier of wideouts -- where it belongs.
The hope is a more open offense with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback will allow Scary Terry additional targets and a chance to prove he's one of the elite wideouts in the NFL.
"We gotta come out here and make people respect that we have these weapons on the outside," McLaurin said. "And that comes with the work that we're putting in now."