Bucs TE Wright responds to criticism with a good week
Tim Wright admits he has struggled at times blocking and there have been a few dropped balls in practice. But what he wasn't prepared for was the criticism aimed at his play by coach Lovie Smith, who said last Sunday the Bucs tight end 'hasn't played well' during the preseason.
“It was a little bit of news, but at the end of the day, it comes with the game,'' Wright said. "You just try to get better. You try to watch film and correct the mistakes that you made. There are some things I’m doing that’s new so I’ve got to give myself a chance, too, but I’m coming along.
“My whole week, it is what it is. That’s what was said. But one day at a time, I go out there and just try to be great. That’s what I focus on.''
Wright, a second-year pro from Rutgers who converted from receiver to tight end last season, caught 54 passes for 571 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie. The Bucs like the mismatches he can create going against safeties and linebackers.
“When you think of tight end, that’s what you think of,'' Wright said. "The game is evolving to that pass catcher now and some of the things I did last year. But when I first got switched, I knew that was going to be an uphill battle for me, trying to put on some weight and block guys who have been doing it their whole life at defensive end. But it’s a fun thing, it’s a challenge and I like challenges.''
Smith clarified his remarks Thursday, saying Wright had merely had a bad week and that he loved what he brought to the offense.
"I love Tim Wright as a football player,'' Smith said. "You go through spells when you don’t play your best ball for a short period of time. When I talked then, it was a little period of time where Tim hadn’t played his best ball. But you look at the big picture? Tim has been a good football player for us. We like what he’s been able to do. We’ve talked going forward about what we’ll be able to do with him. You can split him out, the matchups you have with safeties and linebackers.
"You can catch me at any time and I might be disappointed in a player. But big picture? No. There’s no disappointment in Tim Wright. We like him being on our football team.''