New Bears WR Kendall Wright ready to connect with QB Mike Glennon
The group text messages have been sent. New Bears quarterback Mike Glennon wants to throw to his receivers. It’s time to get together.
The chemistry, of course, won’t create itself.
“I don’t think it will take long,” new Bears wide receiver Kendall Wright said Wednesday during a conference call. “I was with Tennessee five years, and I think I played with 10 quarterbacks. So this won’t be hard.”
Helping matters is how committed Glennon and Wright are to proving themselves. Wright described it as being hungry.
Glennon gets his second chance to be a starter after two seasons spent as the Buccaneers’ backup behind Jameis Winston. Wright, meanwhile, signed a one-year deal with the goal of proving that he can still be the No. 1 receiver the Titans envisioned when they made him the 20th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
That’s why having a chance to reunite with offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains stood out to Wright during the free-agency process.
Wright had by far his best individual season in 2013 — when Loggains was the Titans’ offensive coordinator — with 94 catches for 1,079 yards.
“When he was there, he obviously let me play,” Wright said. “He didn’t put [any] limitations on my game. He didn’t tell me to just play slot. He let me play whatever I wanted to play, whatever position. The more you can do with him, the better you’ll be.”
Wright seemed to indicate that he was limited in recent years with the Titans, who had two coaching changes in the five years that he was on their roster.
Last season was Wright’s worst. A hamstring injury delayed his start, and he started only four of the 11 games he played in. He finished with a career-low 29 receptions.
“It doesn’t seem like I’ve been on the field in a long time, really,” Wright said. “I feel like I didn’t touch the ball last year. But I’m ready, and when I’m on the field, there’s no telling what I can do. I feel like I can do a lot of things.”
At the very least, Wright and Markus Wheaton provide proven options for Loggains and Glennon should wide receiver Kevin White struggle to return from the second surgery on his left leg.
But regardless of White’s comeback attempt, the duo of Wright and Wheaton will change the complexion of the Bears’ offense.
The Bears haven’t had true over-the-top threats in recent seasons. Now they have two — Wright and Wheaton, who signed a two-year deal.
Wright (5-10) and Wheaton (5-11) might not be able to do what Alshon Jeffery (6-3) can do on contested jump balls, but the Bears wanted to diversify their offense, which starts with running back Jordan Howard. They wanted to pair more speed with Howard’s power.
“I see myself as a deep threat that can make plays down the field,” said Wheaton, who has touchdown catches of 72, 69, 47 and 30 yards on his résumé.
“I want to make plays; I want to finish down the field. Whether you count that as a No. 1, 2 or 3 [receiver], that’s up to you.”
Similar to Glennon, Wright said he sees a hungry receiver in Wheaton, who’s eager to prove himself after being overshadowed by Steelers receivers Antonio Bryant and Martavis Bryant for four seasons.
“We can stretch the field and do a lot of different things as far as if we’re in the slot or the outside,” said Wright, who averaged 11.6 yards per reception in his first five seasons. “It’s getting each other open.”
Glennon’s success will depend on it.
“[He] hasn’t played much,” Wright said, “but you know he can sling it.”
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