Toward the start of OTAs, Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Chris Palmer had plans for first-round pick Kendall Wright to only play one position – the X receiver spot – in the Titans offense.
That way, Palmer reasoned, Wright could learn that position, gain confidence and build off of it down the road as he learned more of the concepts of the offense.
Apparently it didn't take long for those plans to change, because Wright has proven to be such a quick study at the X position that Palmer now has turned him loose this week to work on the Z and F positions in the Tennessee offense. Wright, of course, had about 300 plays memorized at Baylor because the Bears didn't have a formal playbook, only signals sent in from the sideline.
“He's doing an excellent job. He's learning the system. We started this week moving him to another position,” Palmer said. “He did such a good job the first week in showing everybody what he could do, so now we're starting him with other spots, too.”
Palmer still expects overload to set in at some point for Wright, at which point he will dial things back for the rookie. But Wright likes the new challenge that working on the other spots creates for him.
“I like getting moved around because it creates different matchups. I like getting on the safety, because it creates different matchups for everybody out there,” Wright said.
To the untrained football observer, the receiver positions might not seem all that different. After all, a post pattern is a post pattern and an out route is an out route in basic football concepts.
But Wright says there is much more that meets the eye.
“It's different. You've got different routes and all the routes are not the same that you run from the inside or the outside,” Wright said. “There are different concepts and routes at every positions. It's easy to learn all the
positions, it's just know what you've got to do when you run them.”
Wright admits the mistakes still happen. In Thursday's practice, he did not get off the line on a go route in time and Matt Hasselbeck's pass was picked off by Chris Hawkins. But Wright is an eager learner.
“I feel like I'm coming along good. I think I'm learning it pretty fast and executing it. I think if I make a mistake, as long as I make it full speed and learn from it when I'm watching film (it will be OK),” he said.