Receiver turning in better performance each week
Titans coach Mike Munchak believes Kendall Wright is going to be
a player watch for many years in the NFL.
The second-year player isn’t waiting for the future.
Wright is coming off yet another career-best. He caught 12 of
the 20 passes thrown his way for 150 yards against Arizona. The
first-round pick out of Baylor in 2012 ranks seventh in the NFL
with 85 catches and his 1,007 yards put him 17th. He’s also the
second-youngest receiver in franchise history to reach 1,000 yards
in a season behind only Ernest Givins back in 1986.
He’s also tied with Anquan Boldin of San Francisco for the most
receptions (29) on third down.
”We were really excited about him last year, but he really
dedicated himself in the offseason, got in better shape, worked
hard, really understands the schemes …,” Munchak said of Wright.
”But he’s special. He’s going to be fun to watch for a lot of
Munchak credited offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains with
doing a good job designing plays to take advantage of Wright’s
strengths, which include being very slithery as he races his way to
the spot where the ball is being thrown to him. Wright also lost a
few pounds in the offseason after his rookie year trying to boost
his speed even more. The Titans list the 5-foot-10 receiver at 191
pounds this season.
Wright also works hard daily in practice and meetings,
challenging both himself and fellow receivers to be better. He had
his first 100-yard receiving game of his career Nov. 24 in a win at
Oakland where he caught the winning touchdown with 10 seconds left,
and he had his best game yet in last week’s 37-34 overtime loss to
Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said Thursday throwing to
Wright 20 times in that game was by design trying to get the ball
to a good player. It didn’t hurt that Munchak benched rookie Justin
Hunter and Damian Williams for violating team rules in that
”I think I’ve said it before, I think that he’s probably our
best offensive player, and I think he’s had a heck of a season,”
Loggains said. ”He’s on pace to do some really good things here.
We’re really excited. He’s going to be a big part of the Titans’
With two games left, Wright certainly has a chance to top the
season Givins had at the age of 22 in 1986 for the then-Houston
Oilers. Givins caught 61 passes for 1,062 yards with three TDs.
Wright had 78 yards in the Titans’ first game against Jacksonville
on Nov. 10 and will have a chance to at least match that Sunday
when they visit the Jaguars (4-10).
But Wright didn’t even know what his numbers were for the season
until Monday. He’s too busy trying to improve his route running,
learn and win. Coaches saying nice things about him is nice to
”It doesn’t make you work less,” Wright said. ”I still got to
be the best I can be and get better wherever I can get
His teammates certainly know how productive Wright has been for
them turning lots of short routes into big gains. Running back
Chris Johnson says it’s easy to see how much Wright has grown from
his rookie season into his second year.
”He just comes out here and works hard every day,” Johnson
said. ”If you watch him practice, you know he’s a guy that wants
to be great.”
Notes: RT David Stewart missed his second straight practice with
a sore shoulder. Munchak said the veteran missing practices first
with leg injuries and lately a sore shoulder has made it tough for
both Stewart and the Titans. Johnson returned to practice but was
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org