RB Jason Wright newest addition in Arizona

With major uncertainly surrounding the running back position, the Arizona Cardinals helped fill the void by signing Jason Wright to a two-year contract. Although the status of Edgerrin James is still uncertain, Wright will help cope with J.J. Arrington's departure to the Denver Broncos. Brad Wilbricht breaks down Wright's abilities and outlines how he'll fit in with the Cardinals.

RB Jason Wright is a five-year NFL veteran who's been a serviceable player during his professional career. Wright has been exceptional on special teams and a suitable backup running back.

With Arizona extremely thin in the backfield and in desperate need of help on special teams, Wright will be depended on to play several different roles. The Cardinals ranked 30th in the NFL in both kick and punt return coverage. Arizona allowed 25 yards per kick return and 13 yards on punt returns.

As of now, Tim Hightower would be the Cardinals' starting running back entering 2009. Arizona can still focus on the position during the upcoming draft, but Wright will more than likely be called upon more than he's accustomed to next season.


Tim Hightower
(Getty)

Hightower outperformed his fifth-round draft status as a rookie, but may not be ready to take the reins as a full-time starter. The addition of Wright allows the Cardinals' front office to focus elsewhere if a viable running back isn't available when Arizona is on the clock this April.

At 26 years of age, Wright still has plenty of tread left on his tires. He has only 159 carries for 588 yards during his NFL career. One of the stronger aspects of Wright's game is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He's racked up 55 grabs for 486 yards and should pick up right where RB J.J. Arrington left off as the third-down back in Arizona.

Wright possesses excellent awareness and a high football I.Q. He was an All-Big 10 performer at Northwestern and has spent the majority of his tenure as a professional with the Cleveland Browns. His greatest contributions in the NFL came during a two-game stretch of the 2007 season when he filled in for an injured Jamal Lewis. He compiled 200 yards of total offense in those two outings and reached the end zone once.

Statistics don't always tell the entire story, and this is certainly the case with Wright. Many of his actions don't show up in the box score but will be recognized by the coaching staff and his teammates. Furthermore, Wright's work ethic and leadership should go over well in the Cardinals' locker room. He's also dependable in pass protection and will be counted on to help protect veteran QB Kurt Warner.

While Wright may not the flashy addition many of the Cardinal faithful are craving, his ability to do the little things will quickly become appreciated. Most importantly, Wright's special teams skills should do wonders for a unit that struggled a year ago.


Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at brad.wilbricht@gmail.com
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