It was shocking to learn today that Kendall Wright has never studied or had to learn a playbook. If this sounds as odd to you as it does to me, it will surprise you to know that not only did his high school in Pittsburgh, Texas not utilize a playbook, but neither did Baylor.
“Wright played at Baylor, where coach Art Briles uses practices, film study and meetings to teach plays signaled into the offense. Nothing was written down and bundled into a playbook of any form.” – Teresa Walker, AP
Teresa has an interesting article, which you can read here. While you may be initially alarmed at the thought of an NFL playbook being digested by someone who’s never seen a play on paper – seemingly akin to reading Infinite Jest before The Mouse and the Motorcycle – Teresa goes on to say this:
“Wright said he memorized more than 300 plays at Baylor and already knows several plays from the Titans’ playbook despite only arriving in town Thursday. For Wright, it’s simply a different format and not something he has to be taught how to read. There are no special tutoring sessions from receivers coach Dave Ragone.”
In thinking about it, it may be more difficult to commit those plays to memory rather than having a playbook to read from. After all, what’s important is that a player knows how to execute a play on the field, and this may speak to a heightened ability to visualize plays as they develop. Let us hope that this skill translates well to the field.