"Fitz is fun," McLaurin said, via NBC Sports Washington. "The first thing that struck me about him is just that he has a [really] cool, calm demeanor about him. When he's in the huddle, it's just really collected."
McLaurin, 25, enters his third season having caught passes from six different Washington QBs. Despite the lack of continuity, McLaurin has been productive, catching 145 balls for 2,037 yards and eleven touchdowns in 29 games.
Washington signed Fitzpatrick to a one-year, $10 million deal this offseason. Although the 38-year-old QB isn't considered a long-term solution, McLaurin is picking the brain of a 16-year veteran in order to not only prepare for the upcoming season but elevate his own game coming off his first 1,000-yard season.
"He's also a student of the game. He's super smart," McLaurin said. "It helps me out because I get to try and see the game through his eyes."
McLaurin is expected to see more opportunity in 2021 thanks to Washington's biggest offensive upgrade this offseason. Fellow WR Curtis Samuel, who signed a three-year, $34.5 million deal, is an ideal addition for McLaurin's sake and should provide opportunity for one-on-one matchups he can exploit. McLaurin also sees Fitzpatrick's wisdom as something that can improve the entire receiving corps.
"He puts an emphasis on really being in communication with the receivers. That's not just me," McLaurin said. "I've seen him communicate with just about every receiver on the roster right now, just about what they're thinking with this route, what they're thinking about with this leverage. I think that is very important to do at this part in the season because you want to try to start making that connection early."
Fitzpatrick's ability to throw the deep ball is a welcomed aspect for a Washington offense that averaged 216.6 passing yards and 20.9 points per game in 2020, which ranked WFT 24th in the NFL in each category. The additions are expected to make for a more explosive offense in Washington, which would greatly compliment a budding defense that carried the team to an NFC East title. Should Fitzpatrick's veteran presence elevate the entire offense, Washington can set their sights on winning consecutive division titles for the first time since 1984.
"We've definitely been able to iron out some things early and made some connection over the past few days," McLaurin said. "It's starting to feel a lot more natural and being able to get that head start before camp is [really] good."