Tennessee Titans first-round pick Kendall Wright encountered something at rookie orientation that he was unfamiliar with – a playbook.
Not just the Titans playbook, which he received when he reported for rookie orientation for Friday's first practices, but a playbook.
Wright and the Baylor no-huddle spread offense operated without a playbook for Coach Art Briles as he and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III took the Big 12 and college football by storm last season. Wright, a quarterback in high school, said he operated without a playbook at that level as well.
“At Baylor we didn't huddle. Everything we did was coming off of signals and off the sideline,” Wright said. “We didn't huddle at Baylor and we didn't have a playbook. If we had a new play or something, we'd just draw it and go out there and run it.”
Wright estimates that he memorized approximately 300 plays while playing for the Bears, many of which were variations and options of the base set.
“I think I memorized over 300 plays at Baylor. … We had a lot of plays. We just didn't have a playbook. Coach Briles is a very smart man,” Wright said. “It was the same system. We were in that system for four years. It's kind of a different kind of learning deal. We'd see it visually and we'd just go run it. It just sticks with us when we keep running it a lot.
“We'd watch film and go over a lot of it in our meetings that we had. We'd have a lot of plays on the board, and have different signals. Whatever the signal was would tell us the play.”
Plays had names, and it was up to the players to memorize and know the signals for those plays, rather than a code word for it, in order to run the correct route.
“We had names to the plays, but we based it off signals and different kind of things that we ran. A signal would tell us the route,” Wright explained.
Wright admits it is an adjustment to Tennessee offensive coordinator Chris Palmer's thick playbook.
“We didn't have paper at Baylor. We have paper now. There's a lot of different wordings that tell you what to do differently for things like that,” Wright said. “I think we're the only team that didn't have a playbook.”