Kendall Wright said Tuesday that Titans receivers have displayed an intense focus on the field and in their meeting rooms during the offseason workout program.
Tennessee is in Week 5 of its nine-week program. The Titans have reached the part where they are allowed to meet with coaches inside Baptist Sports Park and receive on-field instruction during workouts and drills.
Wright, a first-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, said he’s enjoyed working with Nate Washington, Damian Williams, a healthy Marc Mariani, free agent Kevin Walter and 2013 second-round draft pick Justin Hunter.
The best part, however, may be the way 2009 first-rounder Kenny Britt has returned to action more than a year removed from tearing his ACL and MCL in the third game of 2011.
“Oh yeah, he looks way different,” Wright said. “If you’re out there watching him, you can tell. He’s a whole different Kenny. He took his offseason serious and went and got his knee better.”
Britt underwent multiple surgeries before the 2012 season but started 11 of 14 games in 2012. He recorded 45 catches for 589 yards and had moments where he showed the big-play potential that tormented defensive backs prior to his injury.
Wright thinks Britt and Hunter will provide the Titans with vertical threats in the passing game that will create space for other players.
“Justin is real good from what I’ve seen so far,” Wright said. “He’s only going to get better if he keeps listening to the older guys like Nate, Kenny, Damian, Marc and Kevin. If he keeps listening to those guys and pays attention to what they say, he’ll be even better.”
Tags: Justin Hunter, Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt
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Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains wants to shorten and simplify the verbiage for his players in 2013, enabling them to focus more on making plays than thinking about where they need to be on the football field.
“Let them get out of the huddle knowing what to do so they can figure out what they have to do to make the play successful,” Loggains said during an interview Tuesday morning on Nashville’s 104.5 The Zone. “They shouldn’t be breaking the huddle wondering what the play is and where they need to line up…once you break the huddle, now you can think about what you have to do and how you’re going to do it.”
As players become more confident in processing play calls, they will play faster and become more productive, Loggains said.
“I believe that once these guys know where everyone is supposed to be, they can play fast and there will be less reads in the offense than there have been in years past,” he said. “I think that’s the biggest thing — where their confidence can go to the next level.”
Loggains hit on several other topics Tuesday:
(on the development of Jake Locker)
“We wanted to grade Jake on how he really played and the thing that stood out was that once we started getting banged up around him, that’s when he was trying to do too much because he felt it was on him to make a play. I do believe the injury to his shoulder affected him as the season went on.”
(on Locker pressing late in the season)
“I think at the end of the season he was trying to do too much. In the Green Bay game when Mike Otto got sick and we were playing with all those new linemen, I think in his mind if he didn’t step up and have his best game, we didn’t have a chance. I think he put too much on himself. It really slowed him down. And as you know, when you try to do too much, it’s the worst thing you can do because you’re not going to play fast and you’re going to hurt your football team by doing that.”
(on Locker’s accuracy)
“I don’t consider it as big of an issue as people make it out to be. It’s a combination of Jake being on the same page with the receivers, the pass protection holding up and him making the throws that he needs to make. It falls somewhere in between all three of them. When you’re synced up with the receivers and getting protected, it’s your job to make the play and he needs to go do that.”
(on if Titans will incorporate the “pistol” offense like San Francisco used with Colin Kaepernick)
It’s something we’re definitely going to study. It’s not too far off from what we were doing as a coaching staff in 2006 and 2007 with Vince Young. The biggest thing is the quarterback’s ability to run the ball. When you make that kind of commitment that we have a running quarterback and we’re going to do some of that stuff, it can hide the formation a little bit — what side the back is going to and hide what side the zone read is going to be.
(on expectations for Kenny Britt in 2013)
My expectations are very high for Kenny because I know what type of player he can be. He needs to step up and take his game to the next level, both on and off the field because we are expecting a lot from him and he can be a really special football player. When he’s healthy, he’s as good as anyone in the league.
(on things Britt needs to work on)
He needs to work on getting off press (coverage). I think that showed up in the Monday night game against the Jets. He really struggled against Antonio Cromartie. You saw the wiggle that Kendall Wright has, and he separated against Cromartie. That’s the biggest thing that Kenny needs to improve on. Our new wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson is really going to be able to help him with that.
(on his assessment of Kendall Wright’s rookie season)
I thought Kendall played better than what most rookies play. He was a first-year player coming out of the spread offense and gave us a little taste of what he can do. He’s extremely quick and is a really good kid. Football is important to him and we expect him to have a better year than he did last year.
(on getting Chris Johnson back to his 2009 form)
I went back and watched all of our 2008 and 2009 games, and some from 2010 — and the biggest thing for Chris was he was our leading receiver. He had 50 receptions and averaged 10 yards a catch. Watching that film compared to this year, getting him back involved in the passing game will help open up the run game as much as anything. That’s a weapon that is hard to find.
(on potentially adding a bruising running back to compliment Johnson)
I think if you’re going to run to win and you get into the four minute offense where you’re up and you need to start pounding people, it’s really important for us to find that guy that can take a little burden off Chris and maybe play some third down stuff just from the simple fact that’s six or seven collisions that Chris isn’t going to take that will help prolong his career because he’s a smaller guy with speed. During the LenDale White/Chris Johnson “Smash and Dash” season (in 2008), LenDale had 15 touchdowns and took a lot of the burden off Chris. It brings a different element to your offense.
Tags: Chris Johnson, Dowell Loggains, Jake Locker, Kendall Wright, Kenny Britt
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Wright leads all NFL rookies in 2012 with 42 receptions, already matching the number achieved by Kenny Britt in 2009 and Jerry LeVias in 1969 as the sixth-highest in franchise history.
With three receptions this week at Miami, Wright will have the fourth-best rookie reception total in team annals and the most since Ernest Givins’ 61 catches in 1986.
The team’s rookie record of 72 receptions was set by Bill Groman in the club’s inaugural season of 1960.
Wright’s current pace projects to 74 receptions over 16 games.
Most receptions by a rookie in franchise history:
72 – Bill Groman (WR) – 1960
61 – Ernest Givins (WR) – 1986
56 – Sid Blanks (RB) – 1964
44 – Charlie Hennigan (WR) – 1960
43 – Chris Johnson (RB) – 2008
42 – Kendall Wright (WR) – 2012
42 – Kenny Britt (WR) – 2009
42 – Jerry LeVias (WR) – 1969
Tags: Kendall Wright
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The Titans offense has two of the NFL’s top performers on third down in 2012. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has a 102.8 passer rating on third down, ranking him sixth in the league and fourth in the AFC. He has completed 43 of 58 passes (74.1 percent) for 482 yards, two touchdowns and only one interception.
Highest NFL passer rating on third down in 2012:
117.1 – Ben Roethlisberger (Pittsburgh)
111.3 – Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay)
110.2 – Tom Brady (New England)
106.8 – Peyton Manning (Denver)
106.4 – Michael Vick (Philadephia)
102.8 – Matt Hasselbeck (Tennessee)
Meanwhile, rookie wide receiver Kendall Wright leads the entire NFL with 19 total receptions on third down. Wright posted 15 of his third-down receptions in October, an NFL high for the month. His totals include a 23-yard touchdown reception from Hasselbeck on third-and-11 last week against the Colts.
Most receptions on third down in 2012:
19 – Kendall Wright (Tennessee)
17 – Wes Welker (New England)
16 – Michael Crabtree (San Francisco)
16 – Victor Cruz (N.Y. Giants)
16 – Brandon Marshall (Chicago)
16 – Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis).
Wright not only leads the league in receptions on third down but also has been consistently converting the plays to first downs. Out of his 19 third-down catches, 14 have resulted in first downs for the Titans. He is tied with Colts receiver Reggie Wayne for the most third-down conversions among receivers in 2012.
Most third-down receptions for a first down in 2012:
14 – Kendall Wright (Tennessee)
14 – Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis)
13 – Victor Cruz (N.Y. Giants)
13 – Percy Harvin (Minnesota)
13 – Brandon Marshall (Chicago)
Tags: Kendall Wright, Matt Hasselbeck
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It didn’t take long for the Titans to get on the scoreboard.
Following a three-and-out by Tennessee’s offense to open the game, defensive end Kamerion Wimbley darted up the middle, sacking Cardinals QB John Skelton for an 8-yard loss on Arizona’s first play. Tennessee’s defensive line brought pressure again the next play, forcing Skelton into a hurried pass that was intercepted by Michael Griffin.
Griffin’s return to Arizona’s 19-yard line put Tennessee’s offense in prime position.
Chris Johnson ripped off a 9-yard run and Jake Locker fired a 10-yard pass to rookie Kendall Wright on the next play for his first NFL touchdown and 7-0 Titans lead with 11:51 remaining in the first quarter.
Tags: Jake Locker, Kamerion Wimbley, Kendall Wright, Michael Griffin
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Wright, the prolific wide receiver out of Baylor, turned heads during spring OTAs with his athleticism and pass catching skills. He’s expected to play a significant role in Tennessee’s offense, especially early on as Kenny Britt continues to recover from a pair of knee surgeries.
“The good thing for us is that he spent the eight or nine weeks with us and has a really good feel for what we’re doing,” Munchak told reporters Sunday night. “You want him here, there’s no doubt. If he’s going to help us early, you don’t want to miss any time. We’ll see, but he’s a guy that has a great head start on most young receivers just because of the system he was in, the fact that he played four years in college, and he got better every year.”
Munchak said Wright’s ability to read coverages from the system he played in at Baylor makes him different from other young receivers.
“He’s not a guy that played two years and came out and is still figuring the game out,” Munchak added. “He was part of a pretty good offense at Baylor and has a lot of confidence. I think we all saw that when he was here in OTAs. I think that gives him a chance, even though he’s missed a few days that he should be fine.”
Munchak said he hopes Wright is signed in time to participate in Tennessee’s joint practice with the Atlanta Falcons Aug. 6 in Dalton, Ga.
“I was hoping obviously that it’d be done by now, but we can’t worry about him until he gets here,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll be soon…We’ll just hope for the best and practice with the guys that are here.”
Tags: Kendall Wright, Mike Munchak
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Mike Munchak continues to like what he sees out of first-round draft pick Kendall Wright, the explosive receiver out of Baylor.
“That is a guy we think is going to be special,” Munchak said.
Munchak said while it’s early in the process and the team is not practicing in pads, Wright’s competitiveness, energy and play-making ability has not gone unnoticed by the veteran players.
“We all knew we added a weapon when we added him and it’s just a matter of seeing where the best fit is going to be for him as we get towards the beginning of the season,” Munchak said. “I’m excited about him and the other young guys that have come in — so far, so good. It’s a good thing to start off on a good note and he has, so we will see how he develops as we move forward.”
Tags: Kendall Wright
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Titans top draft pick Kendall Wright has arrived at Baptist Sports Park.
Wright, the 20th overall pick taken by Tennessee Thursday night, met up with head coach Mike Munchak before greeting members of the team’s player personnel staff upstairs.
Wright was taking in a quick lunch before heading downstairs for a photo shoot and one-on-one interviews with local media. He will be formally introduced during a 5 p.m., CT press conference in the team auditorium.
Check out our slideshow of Wright’s arrival, and stay tuned to Titans Online for all the latest coverage, straight from Baptist Sports Park!
Tags: Kendall Wright
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