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Was Jeff Wright a good player?


JohnNord
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IMO he was not good at all. Definitely the weak link. I know a team can't have an all pro at every position, but man it was brutal watching him get manhandled. Kyle Williams was on the small side, but he could ball. Wright, not so much.

Edited by Dopey
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28 minutes ago, clayboy54 said:

I always thought that Jeff was the weakest link on that side of the ball. I was thinking, "what do they see in that guy?" He was easily moved off the ball and generated no push on pass rushes. Then again, he had Bruce Smith playing beside him.

 

But, what do I know? It worked well enough for them.

I think the weakest link was Leon "Dr. Sack" Seals. The irony of having that nickname while playing opposite of Bruce still is both perplexing and amusing.

It used to drive me crazy when the national announcers would use his nickname when he would get one of the 2.8 sacks per season that he averaged in the NFL.

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59 minutes ago, JohnNord said:

I was younger during the years when Jeff Wright started as NT.  Overall, I guess I would regard him as a good player.  I remember the huge play in the 1992 AFCCG where he snuffed out a screen leading to a game winning pick 6.  


I also know that he’s loved by many older Bills fans due his motor and of course his mullet and thin pornstache.  
 

But in later years when I watched game film, the Bills DL seemed to get destroyed by larger, more physical offensive lines - especially right up the middle.  It seems that Wright’s quickness served him well at times but his smaller size was also a reason why they got gashed on the ground in every Super Bowl.  
 

I also remember how replacing Wright with a more traditional NT like Ted Washington greatly improved the defense vs. the run (of course, other additions helped as well).

 

So it I had to guess, I’d say Wright was probably better suited at the 3 tech defensive tackle position.  And while he made some plays, his inability to occupy space or command double teams as a 3-4 NT also hurt the defense against the run.  It makes me think Buffalo should have looked to make an upgrade at NT before the end of 1994.

 

Is this a correct statement?

He was undersized and not all that great IMHO. As much as I disliked Smerlas as a person he was a much better NT than Jeff ever was. Also it was great when Wade Phillips came into town and brought with him Ted Washington, I'd like to think if we had either one of them during our Super Bowl runs we would have proven better on defense. 

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I think it is important to remember the stress put on the defense by the K Gun offense   The defensive guys were on the field for a huge portion of the game. 

 

Wright might not have been best suited for nose tackle because of size but instead because he could take all the snaps and hold up physically.  That was an amazing grind those defensive players went through.  

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1 minute ago, buffalostu2 said:

I think it is important to remember the stress put on the defense by the K Gun offense   The defensive guys were on the field for a huge portion of the game. 

 

Wright might not have been best suited for nose tackle because of size but instead because he could take all the snaps and hold up physically.  That was an amazing grind those defensive players went through.  

Very true especially when the offense struggled like in Super Bowl XXV when we had drives on offense that were less than 2 minutes. 

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Yes, he was a good player.  But the Bills needed a better player at that position, to allow Bruce and the other DE that year to rush without the D getting gashed.

 

Prior to the first Bills SB, Marv Levy was interviewed, and he was asked what the weakness of his team was.  He said none, really, but maybe being a little light on the D line.  So the Bills knew about this limitation and didn't take action to upgrade.

 

FWIW, Wright was the fifth member of the 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-1 trivia question.  What's 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-1?

 

A sideline photo of Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Darryl Talley, Bruce Smith, and Jeff Wright standing next to each other.

 

(Even better was the next year, when 9-0 was Phil Hansen.)

Edited by Utah John
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I know Smerlas was at the end of his career, but we needed that kind of guy.  Marv was enamored with Wright’s speed, but he used to get manhandled.  We righted the ship when we went back to big old mountain in Teddy.  
 

If Bruuuce had Smerlas or Teddy in their prime, he would’ve destroyed even more so the sack record.  I never like Wright.

 

Thanks for the bad memory Nord.  😂.  Just kidding bud as you’re a true blue Bills fan.

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1 hour ago, JohnNord said:


I didn’t watch the games as closely then but now I can definitely see it.  It seems like back then players and coaches had a little more time.  That’s probably why they waited to replace I’m until it was painfully obvious.

 

It is telling that Wright never played in the NFL again after getting released in 1994.  He had been a starter for 5 years prior 

 

As I remember, he was released after a pretty serious shoulder injury, but I can't find any proof of that on the web.

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Yes and no…. He was effective in that defense we ran, but if switched defenses to the big NT defense and got Jerry Ball (and a suitable back up for him) we would have beeen better, imho… And if we got a legit pass rusher to play opposite Bruce Smith we then would (with both changes) had one of the best defenses of all-time….

Only if….

 

……….Phil Hansen - Ted Washington/Pat Williams - Bruce Smith

 

Bryce Paup - Shane Conlan —————— Cornelius Bennet - Daryl Tally

 

that would be an unbeatable front seven imho….

 

To change it to a modern defense all you do is take out Conlan and replace him with a CB….Though Talley would be a little slow….

Bennet would be a pro bowler still.  No one could run on it so you are just concerned with the pass. Ted could collapse lines on occasions giving you a big play in opportune times.

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