There are a couple specific areas of Wright’s game to pay attention to in 2014. First, can Jake Locker find him downfield? As I noted in the comments section of Rivers’ column, Locker has gone just 4-for-23 when targeting Wright more than 10 yards downfield. Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matt Hasselbeck have had more success finding Wright down the field, though even so he hasn’t been the vertical seam threat we saw at Baylor and expected him to be in the NFL.
The second thing to watch for Wright is his continued work on reshaping his body. He dropped 14 pounds last offseason to get to 187, which seemed to lead to better movement on the field. He noted earlier this week (video link) the new coaching staff had asked him to drop a little additional weight to improve his speed and his endurance and ability to stay on the field. He noted he’s now at 184 pounds and his belly is gone.
The other thing to come from that interview, beyond his weight, is his role in the offense is likely to change. He noted he’s learning every wide receiver position, which is something Dowell Loggains talked about about every receiver doing last season. More importantly, though, he noted the new coaching staff (though position coach Shawn Jefferson is a holdover) is asking him to be more disciplined in his routes instead of giving him the opportunity to freelance and adjust his route like he had from the old regime last year. It’s interesting to get confirmation of that, which I wondered about at times watching them, and will be interesting to see if Wright can be as productive in a more disciplined system. I’m confident that unless he gets hurt Wright will play a lot and catch a lot of balls in 2014. I don’t know if that will end up meaning 70 catches (the low end) or over 100 (the higher end). My guess is that however many catches he ends up with he’s more likely to be closer to 12.0 yards per catch than the 15.4 in Jim Wyatt’s projections.
Wright's downfield numbers with Locker are worrisome, but with Ken Whisenhunt running the offense, we have confidence that the unit will be improved and that he'll put Locker and Wright in the best position to make plays. As for Wright's lack of involvement in the red zone, don't be surprised if Whisenhunt dials up WR screens around the 10-yard line with regularity -- he coaxed eight touchdowns out of slot receiver Eddie Royal last season.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 9:25am
Veteran backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck is the latest member of the Colts to express confidence in RB Trent Richardson, relating T-Rich's struggles to those of former teammate Marshawn Lynch while settling into Seattle after a 2010 midseason trade.
"Marshawn's numbers weren't spectacular either," Hasselbeck said Monday, via the team's official website. "Everyone in the locker room understood he was doing the best he could and was working really hard.
"It's very similar to Trent. He came in in tough circumstances. We say these OTAs matter and training camp matter and preseason matters. To put unrealistic expectations on him after he missed all that with us (was unfortunate). I would definitely expect his numbers to look better this year."
Richardson averaged a woeful 2.9 YPC after joining the Colts, but he blames the learning curve he faced after joining a new offense midseason. Since they gave up a first round pick for him, he’ll have the backing of this Colts regime, but OC Pep Hamilton wasn’t afraid to give more work to Donald Brown given the disparity in the quality of play between the two backs. The offseason has gone pretty well for T-Rich — Brown is now out of the way, but the Colts did re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw while Vick Ballard is back from a knee injury. As the #22 RB off the board in the 5th round, it appears that fantasy owners are expecting Richardson to post RB2 numbers. Even that may be a stretch given his career output.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 2:19pm
Matt Hasselbeck wasn't out of work very long.
Hasselbeck couldn't reach an agreement with the Titans to lower his $5.5 million base salary and was released on Monday afternoon.
Thursday, January 3, 2013, 12:28pm
“Who knows what happens next year?” said Hasselbeck, who will enter the third and final season of his contract with the Titans and count $7.5 million against the team’s salary cap. “But I like our quarterback room a lot and if I’m here, I understand where we are in Jake’s development and all that, so I guess, really, I’m OK with being a part of his maturing process if that’s the role I have to play. What also goes with that role is stepping in if he can’t go, so I knew all that coming in.
“Some guys might feel differently at the stage I am in my career or whatever. But the only thing that’s important to me that goes with that is I want to be on a team that is good and that is heading in the right direction.”
Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 8:51pm
Locker has missed the last five games after dislocating his non-throwing shoulder for the second time in the team’s September 30 game at Houston. He’s been practicing the last several weeks, and received an MRI each week to update his recovery. The team received results from Locker’s most recent MRI on Tuesday.
Monday, November 5, 2012, 12:29pm
According to a source, quarterback Jake Locker is nearing a return to health with his injured left (non-throwing) shoulder and could be able to play again fairly soon.
Locker, who has been out since Week 4 in Houston, is nearly healed from the fractured bone in his shoulder that came about once the shoulder was dislocated for the second time this year.
That said, the Titans are awaiting the results of an MRI today to determine if Locker might be cleared to play this week against the Miami Dolphins, or if he needs to wait until after the bye week and return Nov. 25 at Jacksonville.
Surgery to fully correct the shoulder problem remains a possibility for Locker in the off-season.
Friday, November 2, 2012, 7:14pm
Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 7:44pm
Tuesday, October 30, 2012, 12:42pm
Hasselbeck is off the fantasy radar in a Week 9 matchup against the Bears.
When asked for confirmation of whether or not Locker's shoulder did have a fracture, Titans coach Mike Munchak on Monday told TitanInsider, “He fractured his shoulder. That's what we're waiting on to heal.”
Monday, October 29, 2012, 12:45pm
Locker dislocated his left shoulder twice in the first four games. He was limited in practice the past two weeks.
Asked if Locker would be ready for this week’s game against the Bears at LP Field, Munchak said: “I don’t know yet. We’ll have to see. He’ll get re-examined again this week.”
Friday, October 26, 2012, 7:32pm
Thursday, October 25, 2012, 7:20pm
Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 7:21pm
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