Whisenhunt Has no Issues with Wright Wanting Ball More


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Kendall Wright wants the football, and following Sunday's loss to the Bills, the Titans receiver made it clear he's not getting it enough for his liking.

Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt likes Wright, and he needs him for the offense to be successful moving forward.

On Monday, the coach and player talked. Whisenhunt said he has no issues with Wright, who leads the team with 16 catches for 242 yards and two touchdowns after four games.

"You want players that want the ball. I think when you lose a game like we did yesterday – like the last two (games) – where you feel you should win, everyone is frustrated,'' Whisenhunt said on Monday. "Kendall obviously feels like he can help us win.

"There's no issue there. We've talked today. Obviously, statistically, he is an important part (of the team). He's our leading receiver and he's getting a lot of targets and his production is way up. So he will continue to be a big part of our offense."

Wright leads the team in targets (26) through four games. In Sunday's 14-13 loss to the Bills, Wright was targeted a team-high seven times, although one of those plays was negated because of an interference penalty on the Bills.

Wright posted just three catches for 29 yards in the game, however. Quarterback Marcus Mariota underthrew an open Wright on a deep ball early in the game, and Wright was the intended target on Mariota's last pass, which was intercepted. Wright also had one carry for one yard.

After the game, Wright expressed frustration. He said he doesn't feel he's getting enough targets early in contests.

"I have been playing this position for a while, and some games I go without getting targets in the first half. As a receiver, it is hard to go out there and make a play late in the third quarter or fourth quarter when you haven't been getting anything,'' Wright said.

"I don't feel like I'm being able to do what I can do until late in games. I feel like I'm a good receiver and I feel like I've been open and I can beat the DBs, but I haven't really been given the opportunity I've been looking for.

"At this point I just want to do something to be relevant, and I don't think I'm being relevant at all. I just want to be relevant again."

Wright, a first round draft pick in 2012, caught 94 passes for 1,079 yards in 2013. He was limited to 57 catches for 715 during an injury shortened 2014 season.

Whisenhunt said on Monday he thinks Wright should know he's a big part of the offense. Wright was targeted four times in the first half of Sunday's game, when he made his three catches.

"I don't know why he would think that because he certainly doesn't get that from us when we're in here talking, and I don't get that from him," Whisenhunt said. "I think you're putting a lot into an emotional statement after the game.

"The most important play of the game (the Titans' final offensive play) went to him. We targeted him a number of times yesterday. He's a good football player. He's a part of our offense. I don't have to sit here and say this. You can look at the statistics and see that."

With a smile, Whisenhunt acknowledged it's tough to keep all the receivers satisfied in today's climate.

"In the era of fantasy football, you can't keep everybody happy, okay?" Whisenhunt said. "Regardless of what you want to do or how productive you are, that's the way it is. Everybody has become more stat driven because of their involvement with — let's face it — fantasy football, and that affects it.

"You can't keep everybody happy, so you just have to do what you think is best to move the ball and score points. We have been doing that."


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