Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Jarius Wright seeking breakout season

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: July 31, 2014 - 10:32 AM

Jarius Wright has played a limited role in his first two seasons in the NFL.

Last year, the fourth rounder played every game but had just a slight bump in his stats. Wright, 24, finished with 26 receptions for 434 yards and three touchdowns. Now in his third year, Wright expects to take that next step as a wide receiver. 

“My confidence level is at an all-time high right now,” Wright said. “Year 3 is usually the year a receiver breaks out because he’s comfortable at this level and knowledge of the football game.”

While he’s tasked with learning a new offense, Wright doesn’t think that will hold him back from his growth. He displayed flashes of his ability last year, burning Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman on a double-move for a touchdown, but Wright played behind Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson. He has seen an increase in reps with the first team so far and has sprinkled in with the starters after Patterson returned from a foot injury.

“It’s not totally new anymore, but we’re still learning new things about the system and running routes depending on the coverages,” Wright said. “I can continue to get smarter and smarter that way.”

Wright has still received reps as a returner on special teams as well and expects to get some action at some point during the regular season depending on situations. He returned just one kick last season with Patterson receiving the majority of the workload. Wright only had 17 punt returns at Arkansas serving as the backup as well.

There will be ample opportunites for Wright to have that breakout season he wants. Time will tell if he'll capitialize this year.

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