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Interview with Steelers WR Terry Wright

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Our Ron Lippock spoke with Steelers wide receiver Terry Wright, who was recently signed to the practice squad.

First, let us know how you found your way to the Steelers’ practice squad?

Well, I was cut from Seattle, and I was really still waiting to hear from Seattle – hoping maybe they’d re-sign me. But as I was getting ready to move back out of Seattle, my agent called me  and said that Pittsburgh called and was interested in bringing me in for a workout or something – they didn’t say for sure yet. But then they called and told me they wanted to bring me in on their practice squad.

That was my childhood team – I was a Steelers fan. Now, I am a Steeler!

Who first talked to you about coming to Pittsburgh?

Samir Suleiman was the first one and he told me what to do when I got there. Randy Fichtner told me about his time in Purdue and explained how we had Purdue in common. I spoke to Coach Tomlin too before and after practice about what he expects of me.

Did you know they had interest in you before this?

I remember one of their scouts had looked at me before the draft and I think they liked my speed an personality. But I didn’t hear anything from them since then before they signed me. I was just hoping then to be picked by anybody. But it all worked out in a good way as I’m here in Pittsburgh now.

What do you need to do most now to contribute and how do special teams play into that?

The biggest thing is learning the playbook. I’m running scout teams but they want me to learn the playbook as fast as I can. A lot of teams want practice squad guys to just run scout teams – but here they really want you to learn the playbook so you can be ready to play on the active roster if they need you.

Different teams run different formations. I just need to keep learning the base calls especially in the passing game.

As for special teams, I feel like I’m a great kick and punt returner. I know I can be key on special teams – the special teams coach {Danny Smith} said he wants me to return kicks in practice

You know any of the guys on the team?

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I know a few guys, Paxton Lynch was in Seattle when I was and threw me some passes in preseason. Nick Vannett was there too.

What do you think you bring to the team?

I bring energy and a good attitude- and speed. No one wants to work with someone who doesn’t want to be there and perform. I’m a 4.33 40 guy – so energy and speed – that’s what I bring.

You were a track guy in college – how did that help you as a football player?

Track helped me by showing me how to use my speed throughout a game – in different ways. Getting off of the line at a full burst may help me beat a defender but you lose the battle if you don’t control your route. It taught me how to control my stride and gave me confidence in my speed – to know how to turn it off and on as needed.

Now that you are here – anyone help you the most early on as a Steeler?

JuJu let me know how things are done. He let me know straight up to ask questions later after the coaches were done. To listen first. JuJu is the most experienced receiver on the team – so it was mostly him.

What have you been working on on the scout team?

They are basically just using me as they would in a game. I’ve run jet sweeps, inside and outside routes, stuff like that. Basically, I’m just doing what I would do normally if I were the other team’s players.

I do scout the other team’s players too – I did that in Seattle. If I see something they do – a hand gesture of movement that gives a play away – I tell the defense what those giveaways are. I try to watch film and inform the defense on what I see.

Any thoughts on the city so far? Ever been to the city before?

It’s not the first time I’ve been in Pittsburgh – I was here when Seattle played Pittsburgh, but I never really saw the city. Just seeing it now – it’s like a dream – they were my childhood team. I’m up for joy. It’s because they chose me – they could have chosen someone else. I known it’s a small role – but there was a big difference in their minds between someone else and me. I’m humbled to be the one they chose.

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