Dwayne Wright isn't lacking confidence.
Talking with PhiladelphiaEagles.com's Chris McPherson last week, the new Eagles' fullback expressed exuberance for getting back on the football field. Wright, who spent the 2009 training camp with the New York Giants as a running back, is looking forward to the challenge of learning a new position.
"This is the first time I'm actually labeled as a fullback," said Wright, 5-foot-11, 228 pounds. "I think it's excellent because it eliminates the traditional role of a fullback ... You can utilize the same skills. I love running the ball and I have great hands I love catching the ball and I love blocking, so if you take those tools and line us up in front of a tailback, it throws the defense off. It eliminates double teams for certain players that you have in the offense."
Wright was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, and he carried the ball 29 times for 94 yards in his rookie season. But he hasn't appeared in a regular season game since the 2007 season.
"It wasn't because of lack of effort; I'll tell you that right now, because I'm one of the hardest-working guys you'll ever come across. A lot of people can vouch for that," Wright said. "When I got drafted in Buffalo, I was a power guy, I was a power runner ... I was just coming in as a rookie and I was just hoping to play and contribute on special teams, which I did.
"Going into the next summer, a lot of things changed in our offense. We went to a run-and-shoot style that requires a smaller type of back, a faster, quicker type of back so I wasn't used as much and that's just what happens. I fumbled twice in a preseason game and as a running back you can't fumble, you have to limit your mistakes ... That was a learning experience and now I'm an Eagle."
Wright knows that if he is to make the Eagles' roster in 2010, he will have to follow the path of a current Eagle, Eldra Buckley. Buckley was signed during last year's off-season and was considered an afterthought coming into training camp, but he stuck on the roster mainly by becoming a special teams ace. The Eagles have a Pro Bowler at fullback in Leonard Weaver, so if Wright is to stick with the Eagles, he will have to make an impact on special teams.
"I was a great special teams player (in Buffalo)," Wright said. "I think the biggest thing you can expect in Philly, you can expect a guy that's going to come in, that's going to give you great special teams and work hard at it. I'm a great running back, I'm a great tailback, I'm a great fullback ... I know what it takes to win and I know what it takes to compete, so I think that's the biggest thing that you will get from Dwayne Wright."
Interestingly, Wright will have a sense of familiarity on the Eagles' special teams because the Eagles' new special teams coordinator Bobby April was Wright's coach in Buffalo. In fact, April wasn't just Wright's coach in Buffalo, he was also Wright's neighbor.
"I laughed because it's funny," Wright said. April "actually lived down the street from me, he was one of my neighbors, so we have a real good relationship. I understand his concepts as a special teams coach and I understand what he wants out of his players. I think it's going to be a great relationship and you can look forward to me making a good impact on special teams this year."
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:05 p.m., February 11