Terry McLaurin is key to Eric Bieniemy’s smooth Commanders transition

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Terry McLaurin and Eric Bieniemy
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Terry McLaurin and Eric Bieniemy /

Washington Commanders wide receiver Terry McLaurin will be essential for Eric Bieniemy’s transition to the organization in 2023.

Leader’s lead. They are the first to show up in the morning and often the last to leave at night.

That is exactly what Terry McLaurin‘s become for the Washington Commanders in recent years.

Despite not having the most consistent quarterbacks, McLaurin continues to put up outstanding numbers. He remains one of the league’s most underrated wide receivers, even with three-straight 1,000-yard seasons and his first Pro Bowl selection in 2022.

There’s every chance McLaurin can take another leap forward with improved distribution under center within a more creative scheme. So the player could barely hide his delight when the Commanders convinced Eric Bieniemy to leave Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Acquiring Bieniemy was a significant coup for the organization. One that comes with a west-coast offense that’s designed to put skilled playmakers in the best possible positions to thrive.

Eric Bieniemy and Terry McLaurin will be key for the Commanders in 2023

Bieniemy isn’t permitted to get to work on the football side of things just yet per league rules. But McLaurin and others were eager to speak face-to-face with the assistant head coach/offensive coordinator – albeit briefly – after his impressive introductory press conference came to a conclusion.

One thing that became clear when the two influential figures met. Bieniemy will have high demands of McLaurin and the former Ohio State star wants to be pushed to the limits in pursuit of entering the elite level of NFL wideout production.

The esteem in which McLaurin is held within the locker room makes him a key component to Bieniemy’s transition. He’ll lead with maximum effort and will expect others to follow with a similar work ethic as the Commanders look to make the postseason after narrowly missing out in 2022.

Another crucial element to the offseason is how McLaurin develops chemistry with quarterback Sam Howell, who is expected to get a legitimate chance of winning the starting job in 2023.

McLaurin was impressed by what he saw from Howell during his first start in Week 18 against the Dallas Cowboys, adding that the onus is also on himself and the team’s other pass-catchers to assist in whatever way possible to make sure the former fifth-round selection hits the ground running as Washington’s No. 1.

"“I know he’s working really hard, where he’s training right now, to be ready for the springtime. And I know the receivers, we’re excited to get ready to help him out.”"

This could be the start of a fruitful relationship between McLaurin and Bieniemy. The coach is going to lean heavily on the player, who has the mentality and talent to cope with increased demands as well as learn a new system.

Providing the Commanders strengthen the offensive line and Howell develops accordingly, it’s hard to see a scenario where McLaurin cannot thrive. Something that could also help Bieniemy on his journey to becoming an NFL head coach at long last.

There is a lot of hard work ahead for Washington, both on and off the field. If everything goes according to or better than anticipated, then the Commanders could emerge as one of the league’s surprise packages when competitive games begin once again.

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