The Wright Stuff: Veteran Receiver Could Have Big Impact

| August 9th, 2017

It was only one day at camp, but Kendall Wright was running circles around the Bears’ defensive backs.

Admittedly, this is not a great group of corners and safeties, but still one could see the talent that made Wright the 20th pick in the 2012 draft. And it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Bears use him a lot more than Tennessee did in recent seasons.

Part of the reason why Wright is with the Bears is because of his history with Dowell Loggains. Loggains was promoted to offensive coordinator in Tennessee late in the 2012 season. In his first game, Wright had 10 targets, then 9 the following week. The next season, the Titans made an active attempt to get Wright the ball and he racked up 140 targets, catching 94 for 1,079 yards.

(Mike Munchak’s staff — including Loggains — was fired after the 2013 season. Wright had 93 targets with Ken Whisenhunt in 2014, but that total dropped by 32 in 2015 and by 18 more in 2016.)

But there’s reason to believe Loggains will get him back on the right track.

It isn’t just that Loggains seemed to love Wright. It’s that the position Wright plays has a definitive role in the Loggains offense. We saw that last year with Eddie Royal.

In the Bears first six games last year, Royal had 37 targets, which would’ve put him on pace for 99 if he hadn’t gotten injured. He was productive too, catching 29 passes for 338 yards and 2 touchdowns — a 16-game pace of 78 catches, 902 yards and 6 touchdowns — in those games. Royal couldn’t hold up and still hasn’t found another job, but the Bears may have just replaced him with a younger and better version.

In his seven years before joining the Bearsm Royal averaged about 49 catches and 536 yards whereas Wright’s career averages sit at 56 catches and 651 yards, averaging nearly a yard more per catch in his career. Wright is also two years younger than Royal was when he signed with the Bears.

Considering the team’s projected quarterback has thrown underneath more than he’s thrown deep so far in camp, Wright just might be in the right place at the right time. Nobody should be surprised if he makes some big plays for the Bears this year and ends up leading the team in catches.

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