Confidence is a coveted trait in sports, and its significance cannot be understated. Some individuals may struggle to find it, while others consistently possess an unwavering belief in themselves. Yet, for many, confidence comes and goes in varying degrees. As for the new Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, it remains uncertain where he falls on the confidence scale. However, at least for now, he appears to be in good spirits after taking a bet on himself.
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During his five seasons as the Chiefs' offensive coordinator from 2018 to 2022, Kansas City achieved remarkable success, winning two Super Bowls and never finishing below sixth in the league in points scored. While much of the offensive triumph can be attributed to quarterback Patrick Mahomes II and head coach Andy Reid, it is still surprising that Bieniemy did not land a head coaching position based on the tremendous momentum generated by his high-powered offense. The obvious backup plan would have been to stay the course and continue coaching Mahomes under the guidance of Andy Reid. However, Bieniemy had other ideas and made what may seem like a lateral move by joining Washington as an offensive coordinator. This decision signifies that Bieniemy is not content and is eager to prove himself independently of Mahomes and Reid. Thanks to Bieniemy's presence and improved quarterback play, Terry McLaurin is poised to have his most exceptional professional season this year, and he can be acquired at a discounted price compared to previous seasons.
In addition to Bieniemy, McLaurin should benefit from improved quarterback play this season, regardless of whether he plays with Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissett, or both. Let's examine a few statistics from last season, as well as Howell's 2021 collegiate year:
|Player||Big Time Throw %||Big Time Throw Rank||ADoT||ADOT Rank|
|Sam Howell||5.60%||29th (2021collegiaterank)||11.7||6th (2021collegiaterank)|
According to Pro Football Focus, a "Big Time Throw" is defined as "a pass with excellent ball location and timing, generally thrown further down the field and/or into a tighter window." This statistic emphasizes downfield targets and higher average depths of targets. These metrics are particularly relevant when evaluating Terry McLaurin, as he is known for his big-play ability, boasting a 4.35 40-yard dash time when entering the NFL. Additionally, McLaurin ranked tenth in the league last season in the percentage share of his team's air yards (34.89%). The inclusion of Howell and/or Brissett as quarterbacks will enhance the quality of McLaurin's downfield targets, enabling him to create more significant plays.
McLaurin, however, is more than just a deep threat. He is an all-around talented receiver who has accumulated 4,281 receiving yards in his first four seasons, surpassing the 1,000-yard mark every year except his rookie season. Last season, he excelled in several areas, in addition to his dominance in Washington's air yards, especially in terms of efficiently running routes and generating yards after the catch. Here are some notable statistics:
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