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Notebook: Receiver Kendall Wright Drops 14 Pounds by Passing on Junk Food

Posted May 16, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In addition to feeling more comfortable with a year of experience, Kendall Wright has never felt better physically.

“I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been,” Wright said this week as the Titans continued through Phase II of their offseason program.

Kendall Wright has lost about 14 pounds since this time a year ago. Click here for a slideshow from Thursday's offseason workout.

The second-year receiver is tipping the scales around 187 pounds, approximately 14 pounds lighter than when he arrived at Baptist Sports Park after Tennessee tabbed him with the 20th overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Wright attributed part of the transformation to workouts at Baylor after his rookie campaign ended. He used his off-time to go back to Baylor, where he starred collegiately and participated in workouts led by assistant athletic director for athletic performance Kaz Kazadi with former Bears receivers Terrence Williams, a third-round pick by Dallas last month, and Lenear Sampson, who signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent.

The players participated in some workouts with the Bears and also would find time when Baylor’s football team wasn’t using the facilities. Wright worked out Monday through Friday with lots of running.

“That’s what a receiver’s supposed to do to help me with everything, as far as getting in the breaks, running routes and getting back and making all the cuts that I need to make,” said Wright, who tied for the rookie lead with 64 receptions last year.

A bigger difference maker, however, may have been his routes through grocery stores that passed by junk food.

“For the most part, it wasn’t about the running,” Wright said. “I just started taking care of my body and eating right. I wasn’t eating right at all. I was eating a lot of junk food because that’s what I like and that’s what I’d buy, but I cut down on that and just started eating right.

“When you don’t buy it, you’re not going to eat it, so I just stopped buying it,” added Wright, who said he still buys some junk food if he has company coming to town but still avoids eating it.

Wright said he doesn’t “eat like I’m on a diet” but he’s added more fruits and vegetables and committed to eating breakfast — often turkey bacon and eggs or even egg whites.

“I was just doing what’s right to keep my body right and do what I can to help the team by all means,” Wright said. “Losing weight, slimming up, I just had to do what I had to do to come back right and focus on working.”

DEFENDERS ALSO TARGET FITNESS: Players on the other side of the ball have also targeted improving their conditioning this offseason.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan told Titans Online’s Amie Wells he wants to be as fit as he’s ever been.

“I’m trying to get in the best shape I can for the season,” Morgan said. “That’s one of my major goals, is to be in the best shape of my life coming into the season and just taking care of my body.”

Morgan suffered an ACL injury four games into his rookie season in 2010 but has started 26 of the past 31 games, including all 16 last year when he recorded career highs in tackles (66), sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (five) and passes defensed (five). He added 19 quarterback hits.

Wells also talked with Morgan, Kamerion Wimbley, Ropati Pitoitua and defensive line coach Tracy Rocker in the above video about Tennessee adding more depth on the defensive line this offseason.

STRONG MOTIVATION: Defensive tackle Mike Martin traveled back home to Detroit during the break to spend time with family and in the gym. Martin is a player who doesn’t need extrinsic motivators during workouts, but said he does draw inspiration from his mother’s work ethic.

“I’ve been like that my whole life with whatever I put my mind to, whether it be school, sports or any extracurricular activities. Give it your all,” Martin said. “It’s how my mom works, so it rubs off. I go Monday through Friday, and some days are harder than others, but every single day I’m getting better because you never stay the same. You’re either getting worse or getting better so I want to work on something every single day.”

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