Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jarius Wright was the team’s second-leading receiver in Saturday’s game with four receptions for 64 yards. He had an especially good time connecting with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, catching two balls for 50 yards.
The two have worked well with each other all offseason and the receiver credits that to the time they spent together working with the second-team offense a year ago.
“I feel like we’ve built a pretty good combination last year when Teddy was going some with the twos and I was also going some with the twos and then we both got a chance to go with the ones,” he said. “So I definitely think we have a nice combination going.”
Along with the time he spent with Bridgewater, Wright is also taking advantage of the Vikings’ new offensive weapon, Mike Wallace. Wallace is known as a deep threat and often draws the attention of multiple players on the defensive side of the ball.
That opens up a lot of space for the team’s other receivers and Wright has been benefiting from it so far.
“I’m definitely taking advantage of Mike Wallace being out there,” Wright said with a laugh. “With his speed and the way he can run, he’s accomplished in the NFL already. Guys definitely have to pay attention to a guy like that, which definitely should be opening me up.”
Bridgewater thinks Wright’s success has a lot more to do with his work ethic than it does Wallace’s presence, though. The quarterback notes that Wright was having success last year without Wallace on the team, but at the same time his presence on the field isn’t hurting Wright by any means.
“Last year, when Wallace wasn’t here, Jarius was still there to make plays for us so I’d say Jarius, he’s just a guy who works hard and he gets it,” Bridgewater said. “Then you do add Mike into the mix, guys have to worry about Mike, Charles (Johnson) and Kyle (Rudolph) across the middle and who’s coming out of the backfield. It allows Jarius to get those one-on-one matchups whether it’s on a linebacker or a nickel defender and we like those matchups.”
While it is clear Wright is taking advantage of Wallace on the field, what may not be as obvious is he is doing the same thing off the field. Since Wallace has joined the Vikings, Wright has been doing as much as he can to learn from him.
The two have a very similar playing style – smaller receivers with a lot of speed – and Wallace has had a lot of success in his career. It is something that Wright hopes to be able to emulate, so he is trying to learn as much from Wallace as he can.
“Mike’s my guy. Me and Mike always hanging together,” Wright said. “He’s a good guy on and off the field and he’s a guy that’s been somewhere that I’m trying to go, so he’s a good guy to hang around.
“The guy manages to get open and you can’t take that away from him. He’s one of the best receivers in the league and not just getting open but yards after catch and just catching the ball on deep routes when you are open.”
The two players have a very close relationship and can always be seen together on and off the field. But they never actually met until Wallace came to the Vikings. They share a mutual friend, however, and that person told both the receivers they would hit it off and sure enough they were right. Now they are inseparable.
“I didn’t actually know him but we had a mutual friend,” he said. “He told me I was a lot like Mike so when I actually got the chance to meet Mike and be around Mike we hit it off.”
Wright, Bridgewater prove ‘good combination’
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