Wright feeling right at home in Teryl Austin’s scheme

Posted May 18, 2015

Rookie defensive tackle Gabe Wright sees himself fitting in well with the Lions' defense.

Gabe Wright had a simple goal heading into the rookie minicamp earlier this month. He said more than anything else he wanted to be the player who worked the hardest.

Wright was relentless in individual drills. He was consistently the first player off the ball and his quickness stood out in those drills. In the team portion of practice, Wright said he made it a point to hustle down the field to make plays on ball carriers, something defensive line coach Kris Kocurek emphasizes in practice on a daily basis.

Gabe WrightGabe Wright (Photo: Detroit Lions)

“Those are great goals,” head coach Jim Caldwell said of Wright’s attempt to be the hardest worker at minicamp. “I think he’s got the right attitude, I think he’s got the right kind of focus. I think he demonstrated his will to be that individual - and it’s measured over time - not just in a three-day period. He’s got all the intangibles you’re looking for.”

His speed and quickness certainly jumped out during the minicamp. Wright is explosive off the snap and that could fit in well in the defensive tackle rotation in Teryl Austin’s scheme.

“He falls in the mold in what we like our defensive tackles to do and that is to penetrate, attack, get off blocks and make plays,” Austin said after the Lions drafted Wright in the fourth round. “He did a really good job of those things. He is a good player, a good kid and we are really glad to have him.”

Wright is 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds and plays with great strength -- his 34 bench press reps were the second-most among all defensive lineman at this year's Combine -- but he's also swifter than his size might indicate. He was moved to defensive end during his senior year at Auburn, which speaks to his quickness and pass-rushing ability at his size.

“On tape these guys got some amazing things done,” Wright said of Austin’s 2014 Lions defense.

Wright noted the downhill mentality from the front seven and the ability of the front four to be penetrators and disruptors as things that have jumped out to him so far watching film.

“I just feel like the scheme from a personal aspect is perfect for me,” he said. “They like to get off the ball and explode into guys and that’s something that I truly love to do.”