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Kendall Wright Motivated for Greater Success in 2016


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans want more out of Kendall Wright – and all the receivers – in 2016.

Wright, who is roughly 12 pounds heavier than he was last season, is ready to deliver.

"I feel way more explosive and I'm ready to be out there,'' Wright said as the Titans kicked off organized team activities on Tuesday. "I missed way too much time last year, and that wasn't fun for me."

Jumpstarting Wright and the receivers has been a mission of the coaching staff since early in the offseason. Coach Mike Mularkey believes new offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie and receivers coach Bob Bratkowski should help Wright return to his 2013 form, when he caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards.

Back at the owners meetings in March, Mularkey made it known he'd like to see more from Wright.

"I think Kendall has potential that still has not been pulled out of him. I am talking about himself as well, doing it himself,'' Mularkey said. "Every offseason you hope that he recognizes that, what his capabilities are, and how bad he wants to see it as much as we do when the season starts. I'm hoping that's the case this year.

"We are hoping Kendall is part of that process of wanting to take it to another level."

More recently, Mularkey said the entire position group needed to make improvements.

Wright, a first-round pick in 2012 who's headed into the final year of his contract, said the message was received in-house.

"We hear it, but I embrace it,'' Wright said. "They obviously want us to do something good. I have had talks with him already and he says he thinks I can do more and I definitely think I can do more. I embrace those words that he said. He came down on the receivers hard and I like it. That means we'll be out there and we will have a lot of opportunities to make plays."

Wright was slowed by injuries a year ago, and played in just 10 games. He finished the year with just 36 catches for 408 yards in 2015. Wright caught 57 passes for 715 yards in 2014, and in 2012, Wright made 64 catches for 626 yards.

"(We're) trying to put him in position where we know he's successful,'' Mularkey said of Wright. "There's some things he does better than others and we're going to try and put him in good positions."

Wright said one of the biggest keys is for him to stay healthy. The same applies to all the receivers, from Justin Hunter to Dorial Green-Beckham to Rishard Matthews to Harry Douglas. Wright said he'll line up wherever he's needed in the offense.

"Staying healthy is the main thing,'' he said. "And we just have to go out there and really execute, catch the ball when it comes to us and make those plays. We just have to make the plays that we're supposed to make and make the plays that make everybody like y'all say, "Wow'. We just have to go out there and do what we know we can do and that's score touchdowns.

"I don't know what the plan is (as far as where I'll line up),'' Wright continued. "If they say, 'Hey, Kendall, you need to play in the slot,' what am I going to say: 'No?' I am going to go out there and play in the slot and hopefully there's a linebacker on me.  I know those guys definitely can't cover me and it would be hard for a DB or whoever to cover me in the slot.  If I am told to play in the slot, that's what I'll do."

Wright feels like he'll be in a better position to be successful because he feels sturdier, and more explosive.

"I wanted to be a little bigger than I was,'' he said. "I was like 183 last year, and I'm up to 195. That's where I want to play at and I felt way more explosive at that weight. I am doing everything right in the weight room."

He also knows the Titans should be in a better position to succeed in 2016 with new additions in free agency and the draft.

Running backs DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry should help everyone, including the receivers, he said.

"We have more talent everywhere,'' Wright said. "We've added DBs, and we've added receivers. We've added two running backs that I know for sure can play this game. I think we have a really talented football team and it is only getting better. We are just getting started.

"To me, you can smile because you know you can get out there and run the football and get a lot of yards with the two big backs that we have. … And that should make the whole team better."

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