‘Clutch’ fits Vikings’ Wright

Published 7:59 am Wednesday, December 6, 2017

By Chris Tomasson

Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.

Jarius Wright’s clutch play has earned him several nicknames from teammates.

Email newsletter signup

The Vikings wide receiver doesn’t catch a lot of passes, but the ones he does grab really seem to count. Of Wright’s 14 receptions this season, nine have been for a first down and two for touchdowns. Five catches have resulted in a third-down conversion.

Wright caught three passes for 18 yards in the Vikings’ 14-9 victory over the Falcons on Sunday in Atlanta. Two went for first downs, with one being a third-down conversion.

“Mr. Jarius Wright, we call him Mr. Third Down,” fellow receiver Stefon Diggs said after the game. “He does some great things when he gets the ball in his hands. He gets us conversions, we convert, try to keep the ball moving and sustain drives.”

Wright said Monday that teammates also call him “Mr. Clutch.” Then quarterback Teddy Bridgewater walked by, and said he calls him, “Mr. Efficient.”

“I’ve been thinking about getting some T-shirts made,” said Wright, a six-year veteran. “Then I’ll put all (the nicknames) on them. I think they’re pretty good names. I think they all kind of describe me, for sure. … I make the most out of every opportunity.”

Wright caught 42 passes for the Vikings in 2014, earning him a four-year, $14.8 million contract extension in September 2015. He had 34 receptions in 2015.

He didn’t play much last year, catching just 11 passes in eight games. While he still hasn’t gotten the playing time this season he did in previous seasons, Vikings coach Mike Zimmer hasn’t hesitated to put him on the field in important situations.

“Whenever he gets the opportunity to go in, he knows all the receiver positions,” Zimmer said. “He’s just a guy that loves to go out there and get a chance to play, and when he does, he usually makes a play.”

Edwards ‘high’ on coaching list

John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works with the NFL on minority hiring, said Vikings defensive coordinator is George Edwards is high on a list of head-coaching candidates submitted Monday to an NFL advisory panel in New York.

“The league feels that he’s done a great job and is very deserving at being ready to go for anything that opens up this year,’’ Wooten said. “He’s in great position and we expect him to be right in the interview process.’’

The Fritz Pollard Alliance works with the NFL on the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for a head-coaching position.