“I actually reached out to him because after I said it, I kind of [saw] what people perceived it as,” Wright told reporters following Saturday’s minicamp practice, via ESPN. “I wanted to reach out to him personally and kind of clear it up and just tell him that I actually modeled myself after him, I emulate my game after him.”
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Cause of Controversy
The No. 99 overall pick of last month’s 2021 NFL Draft, Wright declared upon his selection that he’s a “more athletic and agile” version of Sherman, one of the best cornerbacks of this generation.
Wright eventually course-corrected, clarifying the former Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers star — a free agent repeatedly linked to Dallas — is “definitely” among his “role models.” But Sherman wasn’t having it.
This is why Wright took it upon himself to broker peace, sending Sherman a direct message that evidently was received well by the 33-year-old. The two, claimed Wright, now share a “mutual respect.”
“For me, I think it was just genuine confidence in myself and looking up to someone like that,” he explained, per ESPN. “He played under [Cowboys defensive coordinator] Dan Quinn. So now I have the opportunity to play under him and hopefully do the same things that Richard Sherman did. So we spoke, and we have a mutual respect. And he told me if I ever needed help I can reach [out] to him.
“Richard is a great guy.”
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A Fair Likening?
Obviously, it’s a stretch comparing a potential future Hall-of-Famer to someone with exactly zero (0) NFL snaps to his resume. Wright has a lot of work to do before even sniffing that rarified air.
Standing 6-foot-4 with plus ball skills, however, Wright boasts a similar build and play-style to Sherman as new defensive coordinator Dan Quinn attempts to recreate the famed “Legion of Boom” secondary in Big D.
“You want to have enough different players that you’re versatile enough to adapt to any offensive scheme,” Quinn said after the draft, per The Athletic. “You want to be versatile enough to be able to say, ‘All right, this is how we’re going to match up and get it on.’”
The knock on Wright is his lacking long speed. Such is the reason many prognosticators pegged him as a late-round prospect. But the Oregon State alum compensates with above-average instincts — instincts that stand to be sharpened under Sherman’s wing.
“I really try to emulate his mental process,” Wright said. “The way he kind of slows the game down for himself. It’s kind of like playing chess. So being able to see the formation, know the call, know what you have and just execute. He has done a great job with that, and hopefully he continues to do that.”
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL