Tim Wright back in good graces with Lovie

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
4:04
PM ET
TAMPA, Fla. -- Last week, Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Lovie Smith stepped out of character and criticized tight end Tim Wright for not performing as well as expected.

Wright
This week, it appears as if Smith had a plan to light a fire under Wright. On Thursday, Smith said he’s happy with what he’s seen out of Wright recently.

“He’s responded well,’’ Smith said. “Let me go back and talk on Tim. I love Tim Wright as a football player. You go through spells where you don’t play your best ball for a short period of time. When I talked [previously], there was a little period of time where Tim hadn’t played his best ball.

“But, you look at the big picture, Tim Wright has been a good football player for us. We like what he’ll be able to do. There have been other days we’ve talked about, going forward, what we’re going to do with him. You can split him out, the matchups we have with safeties and linebackers. You can catch me at any time and I might be disappointed in a player. But, big picture, no, there’s no disappointment with Tim Wright. We like him being on our football team.’’

Wright said he was surprised by Smith’s comments, but was motivated by them.

“It does, for sure, especially when you’re in camp and it’s Week 3 and you’re grinding and grinding,’’ Wright said. “You go in robot mode a little bit. Once you hear those comments, it just drives you more to go out there and try to be even better.’’

Wright appears to be back in good graces and I think his roster spot is safe. The Bucs have been using Wright at times as an H-back and he’s expected to be an important part of the offense.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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