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Kendall Wright Playing Dual Role of Student, Teacher in Training Camp

EAGAN, Minn. – Kendall Wright is the oldest player in the Vikings wide receivers room at 28, but he's still soaking in all he can.

Wright signed with the Vikings as a free agent this spring after spending five seasons with the Titans and last season with the NFC North rival Bears. The receiver has started 45 of 82 career games played. During the 2013-14 seasons in Tennessee, Wright made 23 starts and totaled 1,794 receiving yards.

Now Wright has joined a team with clear starting receivers in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs. He isn't discouraged by the situations, however; rather, he's embracing the opportunity to serve as both a student and a teacher.

In position meetings, Wright finds a balance of adding to the conversation versus quietly digesting new information.

"It's kind of the best of both worlds," Wright said. "I can give anybody in there advice, [or] I can just soak it in and learn from them."

He pointed out that sometimes a younger teammate may have a question or need clarification on something but choose not to raise it to the entire room, so Wright offers an ear and then a pointer. He doesn't shy away from helping out less experienced players, even though he understands they're all competing with each other for a position.

"I'm after people's jobs, too. That's just the nature of it. Everybody has to compete," Wright said.

"I'm not selfish," he said. "I want everybody to be better and to be successful – that's part of the game. I would love for everybody to be better, get better every day and work on their craft."

Wright told media members on Thursday afternoon that after playing for two different teams and with a multitude of teammates, the Vikings receiver group is a special one.

"As a receiver, you have to take some things that some of the other guys in the room do. You just have to put it in your bag. Adam and Diggs, they do a lot of good things well, and they do it the right way," Wright said. "I've been places where I'm supposed to be 'the guy' or whatever, but I get here and can just do what I do […] and I can just get better every day and learn from those guys. You watch the film, you go out here and see everything, see how they work and how they do things."

But ask Thielen or one of the younger receivers, and they'll tell you how beneficial it is to learn from Wright.

Among several fresh faces in the wide receiver room this season, Wright and Tavarres King are veterans in the league who bring an experienced and outside perspective to the table.

"It's always great to have veterans in the room, guys that have been other places," Thielen said. "You can learn so much from guys like that. They've seen a lot of football, they've seen a lot of different coverages. They've seen pretty much every look that the NFL can bring you. I'm learning a lot from those guys and again, those are two guys that come to work every day and grind. I love that.

"We have a receiver room that's not afraid to work," Thielen said. "That's not always the case in that room; it hasn't always been that way. Very blessed and thankful to have those guys in the room, and I can learn a lot."

When Wright was told that Thielen looks to him for insight and direction, he laughed and responded, "He tells me that, too."

He insisted again, however, that it's important to glean whatever information you can from whomever you can.

"I've been playing for a while, and he said he's been watching some of the stuff that I do, but I'm watching him too. We're all watching each other," Wright said. "If you don't put some of the stuff that Adam and Diggs [do well] in your bag, I mean, that means you just don't want to get better. I'm out here trying to get better."

Wright is working to master the new offense and on Thursday had two impressive touchdown catches from Trevor Siemian during red zone drills.

It may not match the intensity level of game day, but Wright emphasized the significance of making plays in practice and getting into a rhythm.

"To me it feels good just to go out there and really just catch those balls, knowing that I can be where the quarterback wants me to be and just make those plays," Wright said. "You have to make those plays when the quarterback throws it to you and trusts in you like that."

And as for his goals for the rest of camp and into the preseason?

Wright just wants to continue improving and making a case for himself. Whether it's lining up outside or in the slot, he hopes to build a resume that coaches will take notice of.

"I'm out here learning and playing every position. The main thing is competing, and we're all doing that," Wright said. "We know Adam and Diggs are the guys, and everybody's just competing. I mean, we're all after each other's spots. Nobody really has a spot but them, so we're just going out there competing and doing what we can every day to get better as a group.

"I'm learning from them, they're learning from me," he added. "We're learning from each other. You can never learn too much, and that's just how the guys are."

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