Eric Wright Needs to Shake it Off

For a lot of people, the arrogance and brashness of defensive backs is a turn off.  I don’t generally like that kind of swagger in people, but I am willing to accept that it might be a necessary attribute for the job of NFL cornerback.  It really makes you look stupid on days when you get torn up by a wide receiver.  Then again, at least Eric Wright didn’t pull up lame with a “hamstring injury” as Anquan Boldin waltzed into the end zone, right?  For all the brashness and arrogance talking about his “Pro Bowl Talent” Eric Wright knew that he had a bad game yesterday and he owned it.  When he was talking to Mary Kay Cabot yesterday he was quite honest and frank.  He admitted that he had a horrible day, he didn’t play up to his ability and that he let his team down.

There is no sense in harping on it (or tweeting pictures of his failures at him) at this point.  Everyone knows what happened including Wright.  Now, he must pay attention to that old adage about having a short memory.  He needs to forget about it because Ochocinco and T.O. are coming next week.  If he doesn’t the results could be disastrous like they have been for Brandon McDonald.

There was a time when Brandon McDonald was a great story.  He was a 5th round pick in 2007 and he stepped up and became a starting corner for the Cleveland Browns opposite Eric Wright.  He did this out of necessity after Leigh Bodden was traded to the Detroit Lions as a part of the Shaun Rogers deal.  McDonald wasn’t a perfect player by any stretch, but he was a pleasant surprise.  He was still young and it was assumed that he was getting better.  Then he had a nightmare game to end all nightmares.

In Brady Quinn’s debut as a Cleveland Brown, McDonald got torched for a 93 yard TD to Eddie Royal.  To make matters worse, he then gave up the game-winner to Brandon Marshall with just over a minute left in the game to allow Denver to go up 34-30.  In his ninth game since being named a starting NFL cornerback, Brandon McDonald was exposed.  The doubts started to creep into the fan base about his ability and potential.

Maybe Brandon McDonald never had the talent to back up that swagger.  Maybe he was never going to be a front line starter in the NFL.  He did have a few good games to his name even after that horrible one against Denver.  Still, those are the games that could easily come to define a corner in the NFL if he allows it to define him.  The great ones shake it off, work harder, come back and prove that it is just a negative anomaly.

It is in all our best interest that he does just that.  Joe Haden is waiting in the wings for an opportunity, but he needs a starting corner opposite him in the future.  Sheldon Brown has been a very positive acquisition, but at the age of 31, he is headed toward the twilight of his career at a speed position like corner.  Here’s hoping Wright restores order and swagger to his name this week against Cincy.  It won’t be easy, but he really doesn’t have any other options.

Photo: Gail

  • Harv 21

    Two things:

    1) after a pre-season game one of the wfny writers claimed Wright was becoming one of the better AFC corners. As then, he’s just a guy, a very borderline NFL starter. Last year he was allergic to tackling, yesterday he was covering his guy like he’s a germaphobe. He was the 53rd overall draft selection, he’s in his 4th year of starting and, as they say, it is what it is. Another second round stinker.

    2) Like most teams, Ravens play a bunch of three receiver sets. The Browns have a total of 3 corners on their roster. That means zero buffer for an injury or a needed benching without making one of your mediocre safeties try to do it. Just wondering: Would Heckert do this to Holmgren as a coach, or to someone they had hand-picked?

  • Hamfist

    Eric gets points from me by man-ing up and owning his game.

    Eric, if you read this, just get back to basics, cover your guy, do your job, and you’ll be fine.

  • crobarred

    The fact that he owned up to the bad performance says something to me. I’m sure he’s quite upset that he had a bad game especially in a contract year. Hopefully he can make these remaining 13 games stellar ones.

  • JK

    @ Harv

    I was thinking the same thing about the wfny post. If I remember correctly I also got some flack for saying that that wasn’t true. I think EW is good, I hope he bounces back and doesn’t let this ruin his career.

  • Lyon

    The bigger problem was that the coaching staff didn’t recognize this bad game from EW and proceeded to leave him 1 on 1 w/ Boldin, and even sending an all out blitz w/ no safety help.

    1. we’re not getting to the qb w/ the blitz, so don’t hang the DBs out to dry.
    2. We drafted Haden for a reason. couldn’t we at least have given him a shot on Boldin? Could he have done worse? No!! I don’t care if EW was playing “star” or not, if it’s not working, stop doing it.

  • http://redkix.com brandon_ROTU

    Eric Wright made me glad I watched the RedZone channel all day and start Anquan Boldin in Fantasy. Like the guy, like his potential, hope he turns it around.

  • shawn scott

    I think Eric will be alright. As far as Bmack even before and after denver he had plenty of highlights in his carrer as a Cleveland Brown . I was sad to see him go . That’s my thought. Go Browns!

  • MrCleaveland

    Yes, our crummy blitz package is part of the problem. It’s just bizarre how we can send guys on what is supposed to be a surprise tactic and we don’t even get close to the QB. The only thing our blitz scheme is doing is neutralizing the blitzers and taking them out of the play.

  • b

    i mean, i’m glad he talked to the media after the game instead of just running away and hiding, but no credit for
    “owning his game” from me. he got beat multiple times on a clean field in good weather while the other 10 guys did enough to win. what other options did he have?

  • Harv 21

    @ MrCleaveland: Agree. You have to blitz sometime, but to sell out the weak db’s and then watch as it looks like blockers outnumber rushers …

    Poor angles, lack of ferocity (ability?), linebackers waltzing with running backs while the qb just waits waits waits for his receiver to turn around 25 yards upfield … there goes my blood pressure. Maybe Jamir Miller’s achilles feels better by now. Or maybe some new d-line guys next year will occupy the blockers a little better, freeing the ‘backers.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com Cleveland Frowns

    I was glad to see Wright accept responsibility after the game as well.

    Second-guessers on that last blitz should note that Flacco did have to hurry the throw. If the receiver’s halfway covered instead of running wide open it’s a different story.

    Also, if these Browns can’t count on their top cover corner to hold up in coverage on a blitz, they have no chance at stopping anybody consistently. Wright was everybody’s pick for the Pro Bowl from the 2010 Browns defense going into yesterday, and he’d simply never played so poorly in his NFL career before then. If there was anyone for this team to live or die with in coverage, it was him.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com Cleveland Frowns

    Also, Craig, I’ll accept that you might be a better person than I am for not sending screencaps of Wright getting scorched at his Twitter. But I tend to think that if he’s going to accept compliments from fawning sycophants via Twitter that it’s fair enough for him to be subject to legitimate fan frustration there as well.

  • Cavalette23

    <——–"Fawning Sycophant via Twitter." @ithinkurwright #NowPlaying "Shake It Off" By Mariah Carey….

  • dwhit

    Wasn’t it just last week that we were discussing how Wright would be gone at the end of the season because he wants to be paid like a top corner?

  • Chris

    “Just wondering: Would Heckert do this to Holmgren as a coach, or to someone they had hand-picked?

    Worst. Conspiracy theory. Ever.

    If that was said sarcastically, I apologize for taking it the wrong way. I sincerely hope this wasn’t written seriously.

    These people (H&H) are professionals. They don’t screw coaches who aren’t “hand-picked” (not to mention the rest of the team and fans) in order to legitimize firing him down the line.

  • CjZ

    Maybe I should tweet things the frowns screws-up back to him. Thats just a lil childish, no?

  • christopher

    Eric Wright should take it off?? what kind of website is this??

    …oh, “shake it off”. never mind.

  • Harv 21

    @ Chris: was serious, not a “conspiracy” theory, you missed point. They could have canned Mangini before season and don’t need a pretext. If you are in rebuild now/win later mode you are more willing to take big roster chances. If it bites you you can tell the owner and city “we wanted to give Mangini a fair shot, time to look elsewhere.” Just saying H and H will have more of a stake in the next coach’s success as it will reflect their competence, and doubt they will leave him with 3 corners and no established receivers.

  • sealedhuman

    Obviously Wright had a bad game against a great receiver. It happens. What concerns me most is our coaching staff’s consistent inability to make adjustments on either side of the ball. Didn’t Boldin score two touchdowns on Wright by halftime? At that point, why don’t we double-team him with a safety or switch coverage? I know we can’t stop blitzing altogether, but why would we continue to let their #1 receiver abuse our corner who was clearly having a bad game? How many touchdowns does Boldin have to score on Wright before we at least attempt to make an adjustment or give him some help?

  • christopher

    @19

    i am with you 100%, i posted that same concern twice on sunday…AND MANGINI NEVER READ IT =(

    Players make mistakes, coaches make losses.

  • Acrossthefield11

    Crazy thing is, the probability of EW being on the browns roster for the 11-12 season is slim to none.

    I also have to say I’m very glad we picked up Haden instead of Kyle Wilson in the draft. I’ve watched every jets game this year and that kid gets picked on for 4 quarters of football whenever he’s on the field.

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    I don’t understand all the appreciation of Wright “manning-up” and “owning” what happened yesterday. He was so thoroughly punked, I don’t believe there’s a professional football player on Earth who could have done anything but admit that he played badly.

    I’m okay with players having swagger and confidence… once they’ve actually DONE something… ANYTHING. The players on this team should STFU until they, I don’t know, maybe win a game?

  • Garry Owen

    Chris – I think Harv is talking more about “negligence,” rather than “malice aforethought.” Hate to bring legal terms to the football party, but that’s how I understood Harv’s take on H&H’s collective “mens rea.”

  • Bernie Quasar

    Mirroring his performance on I 490 entrance ramps, Wright can be hit or miss.

    The thing I like about Eric is that he is capable of addressing his mistakes and vastly improving on them. After a fairly poor first half of the season last year marred with missed tackles and misreads he picked up his performance significantly from the san diego charger’s game onward and became much more of a consistent asset in the backfield, capable of making some game changing plays.

    tl;dr the guy doesn’t consistently suck and we’ve seen him bounce back with vengeance from previous poor performances. Sunday was a bad matchup, yes but I would have liked to see the coaching at least try someone else in ‘star’ coverage.

    He’ll shake it off.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com Cleveland Frowns

    Bernie Quasar: “I would have liked to see the coaching at least try someone else in ‘star’ coverage.”

    It’s a big assumption that anyone else would have had the scheme down to fill the role. These things take time and effort to work in. When a guy who you’re counting on totally flops, it’s probably not easy to just plug someone else in. Eric Wright, for better or worse, was recognized by everyone but the potential exception of Harv as the Browns top cover man. At this level, especially when you’re as limited as these Browns, you gotta dance with who ya came with.

    sealedhuman: Coach said after the game that they repeatedly switched schemes, and nothing worked. It makes sense that nothing would work with Wright sleepwalking for the whole game. I guess they could have benched him for Poteat.

    Yes. Fire Mangini for not benching Wright for Poteat.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com Cleveland Frowns

    Cavalette: You’re not a sycophant when it’s true love.

    CjZ: I realize that my work is equally as important to public life as Eric Wright’s, and am glad to be held accountable via Twitter. Fire away, bud.

    christopher: “Players make mistakes, coaches make losses.”

    That’s brilliant. There can never be such a thing as a rebuilding team by this logic. When a team loses, it’s always the coach’s fault. Do you have any more rules from that book? How simple life could be…

  • b

    Why is nobody mad that we didn’t trade for Boldin ourselves? He went to the Ratbirds for a 3rd and a 4th. And B-more even GOT a 5th rounder along with Boldin. Unreal that we couldn’t have pulled that trigger and paid an elite WR.

  • bobby

    Ok, tell me Boldin doesnt take Revis to the cleaners on his last TD when the browns sent a blitz and Boldin is running a seem. Ryan was purely outcoached by the Ravens. They were one step ahead of him all game. There were many times Wright had decent coverage and Flacco put the ball where the taller man could get it. Yes, Wright got beat deep, but put TJ Ward over him and half those plays dont happen.

    Why when the offense doesnt play to standards its Dabolls fault, but when the D isnt up to par it falls on a player. Its obviously a mix of blame, but has Ryan had a top 10 D in this league? (Serious question… I dont think Oakland was ever top 10, and Cleveland certainly arent there.)

  • humboldt

    @Frowns – I continue to be amazed at your stunning sense of moral rectitude. In addition to the Browns finding unique ways to lose games it is one of the weekly constants of the autumn season

  • Christopher

    I do…

    1. Never hire a head coach fired from another team for not being able to win.

    2. Never pick up a QB let go from a team after a year in which his INT’s rivaled his TD totals

    3. When it is 3rd and 2 never throw a 35 yard out route 10 yards out of bounds.

    4. When it is 4th and 2 with four minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, you are in desperate need of a win, your running back has consistenly picked up yardage against a now tired defense line…go for it.

    Let me know if you need anymore help with your blog.

  • Christopher

    Oh BTW that was my reply to the person who has taken a good football name and made it a disgraceful handle.

    Bad enough our team and fans have to endure losses, we must almost endure someone posting on a reputable site shaming the good name of the Cleveland Browns.

    …looking at you Frowns

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    @Christopher you can smash Frowns for a great many things if you wish, but the name of that site isn’t one of them. I laughed long and hard the first time I heard of Cleveland Frowns… That is a great, funny name.

  • Christopher

    Forgot the sarcasm font Craig. =)

  • subadai

    I have to say this…

    Last week was last week. It’s a team game. If we get a bit more passrush, we aren’t talking about this. If the O or Special Teams make a play in the 4th Q, we aren’t talking about this.

    I’m not worried about Wright next week, at all. Here’s why: The TO and Ochocinco of today, right now, don’t add up to ONE WR as good as Boldin. Both are old and have lost a step. TO has NEVER had good hands. Oh, by the way, if you watched the Bengals game, Palmer is really struggling. Wright and the rest of the secondary will be just fine next week.

    We need to focus on stopping Gresham and the run game. AND the O has to score a TD in ALL 4 quarters. If those 3 things happen next Sunday, we will win.

    Mark it down.

  • TampaBrett

    @34 usually playing CLE is used to help a QB when they’re struggling…hope you’re WRIGHT!

  • Jae

    @34
    I think you hit that one on the head, we get a pass rush and I don’t think we are having a conversation about Wright getting torched 3 times Sunday. We could afford to keep a safety back to help out.

    @27
    Never could figure out why we didn’t go after a top flight receiver in free agency or via trade. I think Mo Mass can become a better than average #2, but he clearly isn’t showing signs of being a #1.

  • Cavalette23

    @ClevelandFrowns I always DANCE, with whom I came with!!!!!!….*High Steps Out The Stadium*

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