Five months later, Glennon and Wright are connecting again, but now they're front and center for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Glennon is now the Buccaneers' starting quarterback, having supplanted the since-departed Josh Freeman in one of the most dramatic in-season moves a team can make. Wright, having switched positions during training camp, made his first NFL start on Sunday against Philadelphia. The two hooked up seven times for 91 yards in Sunday's game, the best output by a Tampa Bay tight end in two years.
“We came in together as rookies and we spent a lot of time during the offseason throwing routes on air and getting that timing down, that connection," said Wright. "You never thought, down this line, that we’d be the two hooking up together at this point, but it happened, and it’s starting to show for us.”
At 0-5, the Buccaneers are having trouble finding much to celebrate. The sudden emergence of Wright, which few people would have predicted even a few weeks ago, is at the very least an intriguing bright spot and at most a seriously important development for the offense.
The 6-4, 220-pound Wright played receiver at Rutgers but knew when he signed with the Buccaneers after the 2013 draft that a position switch was possible. He was not truly expecting to get drafted, and he had little trouble deciding that Tampa Bay was his best option to prove himself. Nevertheless, he was at the bottom of the tight end depth chart to start training camp – not surprising given that he was brand new to the position – and simply making the 53-man roster seemed like an uphill battle.
He did make it, and a rash of injuries suddenly thrust him into a more prominent role. Free agent pickup
“I think that comes from my preparation," he said. "I was a fourth-string, fifth-string [tight end] at the beginning of the year, [but] I felt like I prepared as a starter. [With] the injuries that happened, I felt like it was my time to step up. It wasn’t too much pressure on me – I took it as I should – and I think I’m getting it done.
“Making the switch to tight end, I had to learn a lot of things, the ins and outs of the position, learning how the defenders, how the linebackers are going to cover me, how the safeties are going to cover me, because I’m on the inside now. I’m getting a better understanding of how they’re playing me, so I can react and I can do different things from that position now.”
Wright wasn't the team's leading receiver on Sunday; that unsurprisingly went to
"I thought he made a lot of plays," said Head Coach Greg Schiano. "One of them was a spectacular catch – bracketed [by two defenders] and he makes the catch. I’m glad that we’re getting the tight end more involved. I think it makes you more complete if you can do that. It makes teams defend all your eligibles."
Defenders have to cover the whole field. It takes a lot of pressure off just one receiver [when] they've got to cover everybody honest.
"Glennon going through his reads and hitting the open guy opens it up," said Wright. "Defenders have to cover the whole field. It takes a lot of pressure off just one receiver [when] they've got to cover everybody honest."