Having played only one divisional game, the Tennessee Titans faced a critical opponent in the new look Colts. Manning may be gone, but the era of Andrew Luck has just begun. Robert Griffin III has been receiving all the attention and praise, but Luck has quietly put together a solid rookie season so far.
It would have been nice to counter their young, mobile quarterback with ours, but Hasselbeck has played well in Locker’s stead. He’s made several impressive throws on critical 3rd downs, including his best throw of the year to finish the first half against the Colts.
Facing 3rd & long with 1:13 in the half, the Titans line up in the shotgun formation with three wide receivers. Jared Cook and CJ are in the backfield next to Hasselbeck. The Colts counter with man coverage and two deep safeties.
Hasselbeck knows they are well within Bironas’ range, and converting on 3rd & 11 is improbable. In this situation it’s like playing with house money, so Hasselbeck decides to take a shot in the end zone. Either it’s caught for a touchdown, or it harmlessly flies out of bounds.
Hasselbeck takes the snap and looks to his right, drawing the safety (#28) to the middle of the field. He’s throwing to Wright the entire time, but he wants to draw the safety away from his deep route.
Wright slyly pushes the cornerback, avoiding offensive pass interference. The push creates a sliver of space to the outside, and the cornerback must rotate his hips to get into position.
Wright makes a spectacular catch over the outstretched arm of the cornerback. That small bump by Wright provided just enough room on the sideline, and Hasselbeck throws a dime to his outside shoulder. Wright’s ability to track the deep ball was constantly on display at Baylor, and offensive coordinator Chris Palmer must continue to utilize Wright’s vertical ability.
Wright secures the ball while simultaneously dragging his feet. The officials reviewed and upheld the touchdown, and you can clearly see that Wright keeps both feet in bounds. If a marquee receiver made this catch, it would be hailed as one of the year’s best. Wright quietly goes about his business and continues to outperform all other rookie wide receivers by a mile.
With the exception of dunking the ball over the goal post, Wright can do pretty much anything. He’s an excellent slot and 3rd down receiver, as well as an explosive vertical threat. One could argue that he’s already the Titans best receiver, combining route running, athleticism, and great hands. Once Locker is healthy and Britt rounds into form, this offense will be loaded with talent.
To watch the full video visit: http://www.nfl.com/videos/tennessee-titans/0ap2000000087088/QB-Hasselbeck-to-WR-Wright-23-yd-pass-TD
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