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6/11/20: McLaurin, Kerrigan

Skins Quotes: 6/11/20: McLaurin, Kerrigan

June 11, 2020

Wide Receiver Terry McLaurin

On how he is managing the virtual offseason:

“Well this has been very different. This being my first full offseason, you kind of go in there with a mindset knowing what to expect, but then it doesn’t necessarily go that way. Nobody could have planned for this to happen. It’s actually kind of ironic, I’ve been working out since the Wednesday after the Super Bowl and at the time I felt like it was a little early to be starting to work out from what I was hearing from other people, but it actually worked out in my favor because before everything got shut down I had two full months where I was working out, running routes, trying to improve the things that I set out to improve on in the offseason. It’s been different, it’s been an adjustment, but I feel like in the pros you have to be able to prepare for everything, that’s why you’re a pro. I feel like our team has been working really hard individually and trying to come together in Zoom calls and just try to be as prepared as possible. Me personally, I just want to make sure that I continue to run routes, lifting some, but mainly just making sure I’m running a lot because getting back to Ashburn when we come back for camp that’s what I’m going to be asked to do, run a lot of routes and get right into it. We don’t have any time to waste.”

On what motivated him to start working out right after the Super Bowl:
“I took the first month off, I didn’t really do anything in the month of January, it had been a long year basically from the Rose Bowl to that last game where we played against Dallas. But I just felt like it was time for me to just take the month off, get my body right and just get back to it. I felt like I still had a lot of things that I was continuing to try and improve on. I felt like I didn’t have any time to waste. Really what was a contributing factor as well was just thinking of playing football for a full year and then getting right into training for my rookie year. I knew my body could handle it, but at the same time I just wanted to get some time off and then jump right into it.”

On what he wants to improve on this year:
“Just continuing to attack the ball. I kind of expected press coverage to be tough in the NFL, but those are really what win games I feel like, when you have a receiver that can win those one-on-one battles, so continue to try to dominate catching the ball, contested catches. And just continue to make sure my feet are clean, continue to make good habits the way I run routes, the way I come out of my routes, the body language I’m giving to the quarterback. And then just the mental side of the game with just studying myself, seeing what tells I’m possibly giving because now teams have a full year of film on myself so some of the things that I may have possibly been doing in the past may not work as easily. I just try to continue to focus on what I can control and not get complacent. While I’m happy with what I did last year, it’s done and over with and I’m excited to get started for 2020.”

On QB Dwayne Haskins Jr.:
“[QB] Dwayne’s [Haskins Jr.] looked great. I’ve been here working out with him in Virginia the last month or so and he looks really cut up, he’s slimmed down. He’s having fun again. I feel like a lot was thrown at him his first year and I’m not making any excuses for him at all, but I feel like just his focus is great right now. Physically, mentally, his personal life, he’s cleaning some things up as well. He’s ready to prove himself right really and just be the leader and the quarterback that this franchise needs and deserves, and he knows it’s going to come with work and dedication, but he’s taking the right steps. He’s just not worried about throwing with no opposition right now – that’s not really too hard – but he can’t wait to get back when we get with our teammates and seeing some other teams this season and being able to showcase what he’s been working on this whole offseason. He looks really good and I’m happy for how far he’s come.”

On how his life has changed since breakout his rookie season:
“That’s a really good question because the attention is different for me. When you play at Ohio State you get that type of attention, but I was kind of the guy who just did the dirty work, stayed behind the scenes and made plays when they presented themselves. Now, I’m kind of in a role where last year I was expected to do a lot and I welcomed that, I really felt like I was prepared for that, but the media requests and the attention is just a little different. I’m trying to come out of my – I wouldn’t say it’s a shell because I say I’m an extrovert – but just getting used to kind of being possibly a voice for your team and being one of the leading young players is very intriguing for myself. I just try to take it in stride, be humble, not be complacent with what I’ve done because there are so many things I feel like I can still do to get better and help our team, so with a new staff my mentality coming into camp is to prove it like I tried to do for Coach [Jay] Gruden and our staff last year coming in with a day one mentality trying to learn as much as I can and just being a guy who can take that next step and somebody that can continue to be depended on this upcoming season.”

On working out with teammates WR Kelvin Harmon and WR Steven Sims Jr.:
“I don’t really try to get into being the alpha per se, but I know I try to set a good pace to our workouts and things like that, try to go first when we’re running routes, try to run the routes right, try to set the right example for the guys that we’re throwing with and just try to make it look good. Trying to make [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] feel as comfortable as possible is my main objective. Just making sure I’m coming out there with a focused mindset with what I’m trying to do to get better. I feel like when you go out to workout you should have a plan for what you want to get done, what you want to accomplish and you shouldn’t just be out there just doing things, so I try to visualize coverages, I try to visualize plays. We have guys that are out there that are kind of shadowing, giving us looks. Just trying to take the next step in really honing my game, but [WR] Steven [Sims Jr.] and [WR] Kelvin [Harmon] look great. I can clearly see the improvement that they’ve made in their games and I’m just excited to be a part of that group. Whether people see me as the alpha or not, I just want to be a guy who is a guy who can dominate and help this team.”

On where the receivers may line up in the offense:
“[Wide Receivers Coach Jim Hostler] and [Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner] have expressed where they’ve possibly seen me playing the X, but they don’t want me to get so bogged down in just, I’m going to play the X and I won’t play the Z or even the slot. I’ve been trying to learn it all conceptually and I feel like that gives our team versatility, I feel like it gives me versatility and it’s something that I feel I can handle mentally just learning conceptually this new offense. It’s not too hard, they break it down pretty easy for us. The next step is just getting out there and doing it. I feel like I learn well taking notes and doing the Zoom meetings, but getting out there and physically getting the reps, the good reps and the bad reps is what’s really going to make me fully comfortable in this offense. I’m excited to play wherever they put me, to be honest. X is kind of like your boundary receiver, your one-on-one guy. Your Z is kind of like your flanker who moves with the formation and your S is like your typical slot, he can move anywhere as well. In this offense, which is nice, I can be the ‘X,’ but really I’m the Z in a certain formation, so that versatility is really important for what I think Coach Turner and our offense is trying to get done this year.”

On how learning this offense is different:
“The details of each system is obviously different, the way they may call a route, the depths, the way they teach it is possibly different, but I just try to focus on the details. I feel like if you can have a big picture awareness you can learn almost any offense. If you focus on just one position when a coach tells you that you’re going to play this position and that’s all you focus on, well if you get in a two-minute situation you could end up on the opposite side of the field where you’re playing the X like I said earlier, but you’re really the Z in the formation. That’s why it just helps to learn conceptually, that’s what I’ve found that’s worked best for me over the years and I just want to continue to learn as much as I can.”

On organizing workouts with teammates:
“In Ohio State, it was a lot easier because we were still all on campus for the most part. In college, you maybe get three or four off-weekends typically in a whole year, so you’re pretty much around each other to throw. Now when you’re in the NFL and the season is over with, you have really no ‘obligations’ until you get organized practices started. [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] tried to get in contact with us pretty early, we had plans of possibly going to South Florida, rent out an Air BnB and just be all together and run routes. Obviously, coronavirus hit and those plans went left, but I’ve been in Indy for a while and I was training early in Florida, but I wanted to come back to Ashburn and get connected with Dwayne and the other receivers. He’s been hitting us up really all offseason and it’s just everybody’s schedules and with the virus and things like that we wanted to make sure first of all that we were all going to be safe and healthy, and then we could find a time that would work, so it’s been great so far.”

On WR Kelvin Harmon and WR Steven Sims Jr.:

"[WR] Kelvin [Harmon] is moving really well. He has a great burst in the way he’s running his routes. His feet are clean, he’s always had really good hands. When we’re connecting on deep balls, usually everybody kind of expects me being the fast guy I’m going to hit on them all and things like that, but Kelvin’s timing has been great and he and [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] are really building that chemistry. With [WR] Steven Sims [Jr.], I feel like he’s probably made one of the biggest jumps to me personally because of how clean his feet are. He’s always been fast, he’s always been quick, but sometimes he possibly would slip, so whatever he’s been working on – I know he’s been working with D-Rob, the receivers coach – but you could really tell his feet are so clean and the way he’s running his route his stems looks the same. I’m really excited to see him flourish in an offense that can showcase his versatility inside or out. ”

On if he has changed anything about his process in the last year:
“I try to come in with a mentality of ‘I can’t afford to lose,’ in a sense that when you’re seen as a number one receiver or a guy that’s heavily depended on, you can’t afford to lose too many reps. Obviously, the other guy on the opposite side is really good, so you really got to train your mind, train your body to win all the time in everything you do. I feel like I try to train that way, I try to run routes that way, I try to visualize that way and in the mental side of the game just studying yourself and your opponent. And just being open to criticism as well. I feel like [WR] Steven [Sims Jr.], [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.], [WR] Kelvin [Harmon] and any of the other receivers that we’ve thrown with have given me possible tips and I’m open to all that. I feel like that’s the only way you can grow and get better, so coming into this year I’m still trying to take that same approach, but I just continue on to be that guy that on third down there’s no confusion who the ball is coming to and make the defense still try to stop it. That just comes with work, that comes with timing and I feel like we can possibly develop that.”

On Offensive Coordinator Coach Turner:
“I’ve had two separate private conversations with [Offensive Coordinator Scott Turner], one when they first got hired and another about a month ago when we kind of broke down how things were going. He checked up on how I’m liking the offense, do I have any questions, so it’s been a real team effort. If we have questions, I feel like we can come to our coaches and ask because it’s just so different for everybody. I feel like the biggest thing that stands out about this offense and what Coach Turner wants to do is they just want to push the ball down the field and have some explosive plays, spread teams out. Obviously, we have some great backs at our disposal, so I know they’ll be incorporated in, but a lot of our concepts and a lot of this offense is downfield throws and that’s what I feel like can really help with a quarterback that throws the ball like [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] and the receivers that we have, not just including me, [WR] Steven [Sims Jr.] and [WR] Kelvin [Harmon], but with the other receivers that we have I feel like this could be a very receiver-friendly offense. We just got to make sure that we’re keyed into what we need to be doing on every play.”

On what he makes of the protests:
“Obviously, with everything going on in this country, the spotlight that this is taking during the coronavirus, not all eyes are on it. I feel like it’s just terrible that something like that had to happen for people to put more focus on it now. This has been going on for years. I felt like until the people who aren’t affected are as passionate and care about those who are, then there can’t be change. Just the fact that we have black athletes and actors and actresses and I feel like they’re celebrated across the country for the most part, but do people really appreciate their black women and black men at the end of the day? First and foremost, I’m a black man and at the end of the day this football thing will be over, and I’ll have to raise my family and raise my kids in a world that I hope is inclusive that’s built on equality. But racism still exists and we can’t hid from that, but the way we can move forward is we’re having those conversations. People who know what it’s like to be in those situations are educating those who do not. And those who do not know what it’s like to be Black or be in those situations are empathetic enough to understand that they may not know what’s going on, but they’re willing to help and be part of the solution and not the problem. And that’s what we need more of as a country. I don’t want to be somebody who’s sitting down here just talking like I have all the answers because I don’t, but I do know what it’s like to be a Black man and the importance that it has to me and where I come from, and I just want to live in a place where everybody can be comfortable being who they are and don’t have to look over their shoulder about any type of injustice. That’s kind of how I feel and going forward I want to be a part of any solution that I can.”

On returning to football after an eventful offseason:
“Football is what I love to do. I can’t think of a better blessing in my life to be playing the game that I love. When you get through the course of such a long NFL season and you get to the end, it’s like man, I’m ready for that break. That burning desire is still inside of you to continue to get better and continue to improve. Now with us having a new staff, we’re just all looking forward to being on the field again. I feel like sports is something that this country needs as well. The comradery of it, the togetherness that it brings. Hopefully as long as everything is safe and the health professionals we trust immensely, and we’re very thankful for them by the way, the way they protected us and kept us on the need to know with this virus. I’m just excited to get back playing football with my teammates and my coaches.”

On how he feels going into the 2020 season:
“I do feel really great actually. I’m between about 208 and 212 [pounds] around there, I try to stay at 208. I mean I feel great, the way I’m running my routes, the way I’m catching the ball, I feel like the chemistry that me and [QB] Dwayne [Haskins Jr.] have right now is really great. People automatically assume because we played in college that it was automatically going to click, but we’re learning a new offense and we’re going to adjust it to the NFL. We didn’t use that as an excuse, we just tried to continue to work, continue to learn and grow. I feel like we’re just pushing each other as well as our other rookie classmates, and we’re just going to try to put our best foot forward, and just work hard and not say too much, but just work and let our play do the talking. I’m really excited to get back to football because now, I won’t have to hear about the rookie year anymore, we kind of just move forward, and look forward to hopefully a very successful 2020.”

On if he is his biggest critic:
“I’m definitely my biggest critic for sure. I’d like to think so. One thing I learned in college from [Ohio State Wide Receivers] Coach [Brian] Hartline, which was very beneficial because he played at this level, is, you know when you’re practicing and you’re playing, you know what’s a good route, you know what’s a good rep, you know your to do list is checked off on every single rep. I try to do that in practice and running routes in games. Just trying to continue to push myself to newer heights, newer limits. I don’t try to put numbers on it like hey, I plan on having done this many yards, this many catches. Just being a guy who’s productive. Whatever that means for our team, that’s what it means. I also want to be a guy who can be a dominant receiver in this league. I don’t shy away from that, that’s a type of expectation I have with myself. That’s the type of preparation I’m preparing for. Lord stays the same, I stay healthy. The only solidified goal I have for myself this year is just trying to play every game, being out there for my team, and trying to make the plays when they depend on me. I’m really looking forward to taking that next step, and seeing what it’s like being a guy that’s probably more focused on my defenses, how I have to adjust my game and continue to be successful.”

On having another veteran receiver on the roster:
“I trust anybody who our front office and our coaching staff believe that can help our team win. That’s what I’m about first and foremost. I’m coming from a college where, your not necessarily going to be a thousand yard receiver and have 80 catches and things like that. You have to learn to make the most of your opportunities and when you get them, and then be a part of like a team atmosphere. The offense and the team’s success is more important than your own individual success. If the coaches and our front office feel like they can bring in somebody that can help our team, I’m all for it, it doesn’t change my mentality at all. I’m still expecting myself to come in here and be a receiver that’s very productive and accountable, and somebody that we can trust to make a big play. I’m excited, I feel like we have a very young nucleus of receivers, even with the rookies coming in, and it’s kind of cool to see that this new staff isn’t allowing us to try to take shape and take mold for this offense.

On veterans he has worked out with this offseason:
"When I was in Florida at Marino’s training facility, I worked with a few. [RB] LeSean McCoy, [New York Jets RB] Frank Gore was really big for me, just to see a guy like that who is obviously older in the late part of his career, walking hall of famer, it’s kind of like being around [RB Adrian Peterson], to be honest. Being around a guy like Frank Gore, the way he practices, the way he attacks the work outs, he doesn’t take any reps off. It really, I’m a guy like that, but it even pushed me even more, to see a guy like that who’s on the tail end of his career but just being so productive and working so hard. That’s kind of a goal of mine coming in the offseason as well, being around some NFL guys, some NFL vets, whoever I can be around to kind of be a sponge and soak up whatever knowledge they have. It was cool being around guys like him and I feel like I learned a lot. He actually even invited me to come back out in the summer, I don’t know if I’ll make it back down there, but just to earn his respect in such a short amount of time, that’s the stuff that I take pride in.”

Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan

On if he is excited to still be a member of the Redskins:

“I obviously hope to be here for the duration of my football career, however long that is. I’ve got to talk to [Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera a couple of times over the phone, haven’t really been able to meet him in person yet because of the whole lockdown and what not. Hopefully I’m here for the long haul. I want to be here. They know where I stand and I want to be here.”

On if he is excited to switch to the 4-3 defense:
“I definitely plan on still being a big part of it. I’m excited to get to work in a 4-3 for the first time in my NFL career. I’ve been a 3-4 guy my whole career and to have the chance to play in a system like this is really exciting. Just going through the Zoom meetings this past couple of months and getting to learn what they expect from us on the edge, it’s exciting. I’m hoping, obviously, to be a big part of this team and this defense.”

On his interaction with the coaches thus far:
“We’ve been having our Zoom meetings four times a week since, I think, April 20th or so, that’s when we started. Getting a lot of familiarity with [Defensive Line] Coach [Sam] Mills, our d-line coach. A good amount of familiarity with [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio too, he hops in in our meetings quite a bit. I think it’s exciting for us upfront because they want us playing fast, they want us playing physical, they want us playing in our opponents backfield and that’s kind of similar to how they used myself and my teammates in college. That kind of way upfront. It’s really exciting for me.”

On how much better he thinks he can be in a 4-3 defense:
“Well I don’t feel as though I was misused over the years I feel like, you know, that’s what the defense calls for is sometimes they wanted us in rush and sometimes they wanted us in coverage. That’s really all defenses, that's 4-3s included. So every now and then you’re going to have to drop, but just probably not quite as much as you would, as we did in the 3-4. I’m excited, I’m hoping, they said they want us going forward and doing what we do best so that’s what we’re excited about doing.”

On if he thinks he will be in more high probability passing situations:
“I guess we’ll just see how it plays out when the game times come. Rotations and what not are kind of largely dictated by what’s going on in the game and different things like that. I’m hoping to make as many plays as possible. I think this defense will give us that opportunity upfront.”

On being the face of the defense and now helping to usher in a new era of leaders on the defense:
“I mean, that’s kind of the way the NFL works. You play a long time and your fortunate in that regard but people, especially when you’re as a team, not having the success you want to as a team, fans and people look for new reasons to get excited. Fans should be excited about guys like [DE] Chase [Young]. Hell, if I had the number two pick I would have done the same thing. There’s reason for that, we’ve got other guys coming in too. I think our fans and everyone should be excited about our young guys and new coaches we’re bringing in. I think that’s, like I said, kind of the way the NFL works. When your team isn’t delivering the way you want to they look for new reasons to be excited and those are very legitimate reasons to be excited.”

On his impressions of DE Chase Young so far:
“I feel like in a way, maybe, but I know how I feel, I know what I can do. I’ve seen, what I did last year was definitely not what I ever want to put on film again. I got away from some fundamental things that really prevented me from being productive like I usually am. Chase has been really impressive. I mean I’ve only gotten limited interaction with him because we’re on calls like this, getting to interact. He seems to pick up the defense pretty well so far. That’s what I’m always usually impressed with a lot of guys when they come in the league is how quickly they can pick things up mentally. You know the physical talent is there but can they pick things up mentally. I think Chase has shown that so far.”

On what are the things from last year that he doesn’t want to put on tape again:
“Just like some fundamental things that I kind of got away from last year, angles to the quarterback and maybe not changed up my game plan mid-game if something wasn’t working. Just things like that that ultimately could have helped me be more productive that I couldn’t do. I’ve seen them on film now and I know what to do to correct it so I’ve just got to do it now.”

On the expectations are for this defense on paper:
“It’s really tough to say, because we haven’t even been together physically yet so it’s tough to say what reasonable expectations are. We have a lot of talent, that’s for sure. We look real good on paper right now but that will only get you so far. We have to go out there and prove it, go out there and work during training camp or whenever it is that we get together and make it happen.”

On the signs that can point towards the defense making strides this season:
“How we fare against our offense will be one thing, how consistent we are. Are we having one good day against our offense or one bad day, are we stacking good day after good day after good day? If you’re doing that then you kind of get the sense of, we’re going to be pretty good. That consistency will be a good telling point I think for us.”

On if there is a quality or trait that he hopes the 2020 Washington Redskins have that the 2019 Washington Redskins didn’t:
“How we get that done I guess. It takes each individual making a commitment, being accountable, doing everything that you need to do, to be prepared and then some. You’ve got to go that extra mile in the NFL to be good. Whether that’s studying more film or doing more treatment to make sure you’re rested for practice the next day, you’ve got to do those little things and hopefully everyone can really buy in and make that commitment and we can really make it happen this year.”

On what he hopes to see from the defensive line this season:
“Hopefully a lot of production on the edge. We’ve got the talent there, everyone knows what [DE] Chase [Young] can do. [DE Montez] Sweat, I think he’s an extremely talented guy, he finished strong last year. We’ve got a chance to be pretty effective and pretty productive on the edge, but again like I said, with our entire defense, we’re all good on paper right now. We’ve got to go out there and prove it. Training camp, and the preseason, and the regular season.”

On the showstopper celebration:
“I mean I started in 2014, my buddy, [LB] Will Compton at the time, kind of told me I should do that when I get a sack and what not. I wasn’t a big sack dance guy back, my first three and a half years in the league. Compton was in my ear about it a bunch, and I kind of finally obliged and it just kind of stuck. People seemed to like it so I’ve kept it up and hopefully there will be more of it to come this year.”

On some of the creative ways he has stayed in shape during the lockdown:
“The first three or four weeks when the lockdown first hit, and the gyms all closed and what not, had to get kind of creative around here. I had a couple of dumbbells, those adjustable dumbbells, but they only went up to 55 pounds. Luckily they were here, the previous owners of the house left them here, so thank goodness or I wouldn’t have had anything to work with. Tried to get creative with those, didn’t have a sled to push so I’d push my car. I’d have my wife sit in the driver seat and I’d push the car. But other than that it was kind of a lot of push ups, core work, jump rope, just things you could do around the house. Don’t have a gym at home. Luckily my gym opened back up after about four weeks or so, and I’ve been able to get back training since.”

On pushing his car as a workout:
“We did have a video of it, but it sounds like a great feat, it’s not that bad. It’s not that heavy it’s more of the distance that got me. It was just trying to be resourceful. I don’t have a sled or anything to push so had to get the conditioning and strength in somehow.”

On what he has been focusing on this offseason individually:
“I got my trainer out here, Ryan, he’s really forward thinking with mobility and stuff like that, especially hip mobility. So I’ve been doing a lot of different exercises that I’ve never done before with hip mobility and range of motion and things like that, just trying to stay limber and stay mobile. That’s been a big point of emphasis for me.”

On what Father’s Day means to him being a fairly new father:
“I’m very excited for it. I told my wife, all I really want for Father’s Day is just to play golf. I haven’t got to play any golf this offseason so I just told her, let me play 18 and I’ll be good. It definitely is more meaningful nowadays, having a 15-month-old. She’s the light of our lives, and just makes our day so much better. It’s an honor to be her father and it’s cool that I get to celebrate Father’s Day because of her.”

On what conversations he is having with his teammates about the Black Lives Matters movement:
“Well I know [Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera is working on getting those townhalls, working together. We’re forming the program to be able to address some of these issues a little better. We’ve discussed it a little bit on our Zoom meetings this past week, and kind of gave the guys the floor to tell us how everyone feels. I think, one of the things, we’re all on the same page. We’re all against racism and I think that’s one thing that we’re all uniting in, we don’t want anyone to feel that they’re not equal to others just because of race or skin color. We’re all on the same page with that.”

On if there are any specific examples he can share from his meetings with his teammates about the social injustices taking place:
“I think just, for me specifically, it was just realizing, it’s just sad to think that we’re still here. It’s 2020 and we’re still at this point in society. I was fortunate to grow up in a really diverse community. We were friends with everybody, Black, White, Mexican, we were all just friends. Race was never an issue or a talking point just because we were all friends, we’re just classmates, peers, whatever. So when I think about it like that, when I think about those people I grew up with and people I’ve been in locker rooms with, it’s like man, how do we as a society still make these individuals feel this way, at this time. That’s one of the things that’s just been a bummer to kind of reflect on and think about over these couple of weeks.”

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