Wright try­ing to shake off re­cent strug­gles

Baltimore Sun - - RAVENS WEEKEND - By Ed­ward Lee ed­ward.lee@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Ed­wardLeeSun Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Jeff Zre­biec con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle.

Two days af­ter get­ting beaten by Oak­land Raiders wide re­ceiver Michael Crab­tree for two of Crab­tree’s three touch­down catches — in­clud­ing the even­tual gamewin­ner in Sun­day’s 28-27 loss — Ravens cor­ner­back Sha­reece Wright got a phone call from for­mer South­ern California team­mate Ter­rell Thomas.

The for­mer New York Gi­ants cor­ner­back com­mis­er­ated with Wright and en­cour­aged him to bounce back. That con­ver­sa­tion and sub­se­quent talks with team­mates reaf­firmed to Wright that he can over­come his re­cent strug­gles.

“Yeah, it’s frus­trat­ing,” the sixth-year pro said af­ter Thurs­day’s prac­tice. “You don’t know why. It’s just one of those things where you’ve just got to re­spond well and just be pos­i­tive about it and don’t lose that con­fi­dence. It’s not a phys­i­cal thing where I can’t play or I can’t run. It’s not like I can’t play or I’m not good­e­nough. It’s just moreof a men­tal men­tal­ity and just be­ing in the mo­ment, be­ing in the sit­u­a­tion like in a game where it’s a crit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion.”

Af­ter sur­ren­der­ing five touch­downs in his past three starts, Wright has be­come the most scru­ti­nized mem­ber of the Ravens sec­ondary. He ranks third on the team in tack­les with 21 and has bro­ken up two passes, but fans and me­dia have fo­cused on him for crit­i­cism.

Wright said he blocks out the neg­a­tiv­ity, but said he ac­tu­ally prefers “the hate” to help iden­tify who truly sup­ports him.

De­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dean Pees de­fended Wright, say­ing ev­ery mem­ber of the de­fense was com­plicit in fail­ing to stop the Raiders on that game-win­ning touch­down drive.

“It’s easy to crit­i­cize guys on the back end on cov­er­age be­cause those are al­ways the last guys that you see,” Pees said Thurs­day. “But yeah, he’s got to im­prove, we all got to im­prove. We have to do a bet­ter job maybe not putting him in as tough sit­u­a­tions. It’s across the board.” Stan­ley says he’s a game-time de­ci­sion: Af­ter sit­ting out his fifth con­sec­u­tive prac­tice with a foot in­jury, rookie left tackle Ron­nie Stan­ley said Thurs­day that he is “a game-time de­ci­sion” for Sun­day. The sixth over­all pick in the 2016 NFL draft did not play last week but said he told coach John Harbaugh he is ea­ger to re­turn.

“Coach knows I want to play, and it’s def­i­nitely a de­ci­sion left up to him,” Stan­ley said. “We’ve been in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion. It’s not go­ing to be a sur­prise to me whether he chooses for me to play or not.” Ques­tions irk usu­ally un­flap­pable Pees: Af­ter prac­tice, Pees was asked dur­ing his weekly news con­fer­ence about the de- Ros­ter move: The team placed rookie cor­ner­back Mau­rice Canady (thigh) on in­jured re­serve Thurs­day. Canady, a six­thround pick, had con­trib­uted on spe­cial teams, mak­ing two tack­les in four games. Canady’s spot on the ac­tive ros­ter was filled by safety Mar­que­ston Huff, a fourthround pick of the Ten­nessee Ti­tans who was signed from the Jack­sonville Jaguars’ prac­tice squad. “I’ve been out of foot­ball for a lit­tle bit on the prac­tice squad, but to get back out there and get on the ac­tive ros­ter, it feels great,” he said.

KEN­NETH K. LAM/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Sha­reece Wright, right, breaks up a pass in­tended for Oak­land’s Michael Crab­tree in the third quar­ter Sun­day. Two of Crab­tree’s three touch­down catches were against Wright.

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