LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Just one season removed from college, Chicago Bears safety Major Wright has already developed the reputation as a talented open field tackler. Wright essentially put on a clinic in the club's preseason opener against the Buffalo Bills, leading the team with five solos.
Several of those stops came with a high degree of difficulty and were textbook examples of how to bring down a ball carrier in the open field. Wright knows how to tackle, even though he whiffed on the New York Giants' Brandon Jacob's 18-yard touchdown run Monday night in New York.
Missed tackles happen on occasion, especially when you play the safety position, but Wright is using the error versus the Giants as a teaching tool moving forward.
"It's definitely something I can learn from," Wright said Thursday. "Taking a better angle, slowing down and breaking down."
The concern with Wright really isn't tackling, it's health. The Florida product missed five regular season games in 2010 and much of the preseason with a variety of injuries, after he arrived in the NFL with the label of being a durable player. Wright appeared in all 41 games during his three-year career with the Gators.
"Right now, I just feel like me going out there every day getting better and doing what these coaches want me to do is my main focus," Wright said. "This year, with me having a year under my belt, I've learned more and taken in a lot. I'm playing better, and that's what that (first) year did for me."
Expectations are high for Wright, who received decent playing time as a rookie in a three-man safety rotation with Danieal Manning and Chris Harris. Manning's departure to Houston in free agency means Wright could put a stranglehold on one of the safety spots for the foreseeable future.
Continuity in the defensive backfield would be a welcome thing for the Bears. After all, the organization has changed its starting safety combination every single year since Lovie Smith arrived in 2004. Steady play from Wright would improve an already strong defensive unit that returns every core player besides Manning and linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa.
"I feel like we have a great defense," Wright said. "If we keep reading our keys and doing our things, getting the ball out and doing stuff like that, we'll come around."