Wright trying to ‘break their mold' at WR

Jarius Wright says he is getting more responsibility, but he definitely had a good day in the Vikings' first practice in pads. See what he had to say about it, as well as getting a look at the quarterbacks' number in the red zone and on third downs.

Jarius Wright is trying to branch out with his receiving skills and prove he can be more than a receiver categorized as a "slot guy."

His performance Monday in the Vikings' first day in full pads at training camp was a good start.

"I had a good day, but I didn't do everything as good as I would like," Wright said.

He did quite a bit, including catching both of Christian Ponder's touchdowns while the Vikings were working on their red zone offense.

What was the key to success in the red zone?

"Timing, really. Running the route is just half of the part," Wright said. "Timing with the quarterback, and you saw Christian was on time and threw perfect passes on both of the touchdowns. We're definitely getting our timing down way better and we're definitely looking really good in the red zone."

Ponder's second touchdown pass, which put a bow on Monday afternoon's practice, was a well-time route as he released the ball as Wright made his break to the outside and hauled in the pass in the front of the end zone.

It also showed that Wright can be more than just a slot receiver, something that was expected out of him as a rookie.

"That is one thing I'm trying to show. People think I'm just an inside and slot receiver and I'm trying to show people I'm a versatile receiver and I can play inside or outside," he said.

"They think just because I'm a smaller guy I'm only a slot receiver, but I'm trying to break their mold to show them a smaller guy can also play outside receiver.

"Just getting out here in practice first of all and showing not only the coaches but people watching that, OK, he can get out here and play. He can also play outside receiver, too, and then carrying it over into the game and showing everybody else the same thing."

Last year, Wright didn't get the opportunity to play until the ninth game of the season, after Percy Harvin got hurt. He made an immediate contribution, catching one of his two touchdowns for the season in his first game active.

He finished the season with 22 catches for 310 yards and the two scores. But, despite this being only his second year in the league, he says he already feels like one of the leaders among the receivers.

"They've definitely given me a lot of responsibility. I don't want to move too far ahead, but I kind of see myself as one of the leaders in the receiving room. I like being a leader instead of a follower," Wright said. "Of course we have Greg Jennings, which he's been there and done that and I'm absorbing everything I can from him, but we also have a lot of young guys in the room also. I'm trying to give them some of the knowledge I learned last year and give it to them."


  • Both of Ponder's touchdown passes in the red zone went to Wright, one for 5 yards and another for 15 yards.

  • Ponder was 2-for-5 in red zone work, with one drop by a receiver and both of his completions going for touchdowns. In third-down work, Ponder was 2-for-4 with a throwaway.

  • Cassel was 5-for-6 in the red zone with two touchdowns, the first a 20-yard strike to Rhett Ellison and the second to Stephen Burton for a 15-yard touchdown. Cassel went 2-for-2 with a touchdown in third-down situations.

  • Two of Cassel's touchdown passes went to Stephen Burton, who had a good day of practice, perhaps his best as a Viking.

  • Fullback Jerome Felton left practice early, but head coach Leslie Frazier said it was for a personal matter, not injury.

  • Defensive tackle Letroy Guion was back at practice after suffering a minor elbow injury Saturday. X-rays taken over the weekend were negative.

    Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.

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