Suffering Wright makes good impression on Bills running backs coach

Jay Skurski

Buffalo Bills running backs coach Eric Studesville jokingly called it a day of rest during training camp, though Dwayne Wright would probably think of it differently.

Wright missed a practice session during the team’s training camp at St. John Fisher college because of an allergic reaction to something he ate. He spent 13 hours in the hospital as a precaution, but he came out fine. During his down time, he found a way to make a good impression on Studesville.

“When I came into the room to visit him, he had his playbook right there on the bed, so it’s obvious that it’s important to him,” the coach said.

Welcome to life in the NFL, where there’s no such thing as a day off once training camp arrives.

“My lip was swollen, but I still had to study my playbook,” Wright said with a laugh. “Any opportunity that I have, I have to try and get better. I’m competing for this job.”

Work ethic is only part of what the Bills like about Wright. Drafted in the fourth round (111th overall) out of Fresno State, the Bills believe Wright has the ability to be a power running back. It was his speed, though, that caught Studesville by surprise.

“He’s a big, powerful guy who can run,” the coach said. “You look at him, at 230 pounds, you think he’s kind of a thumper, an inside-the-tackle guy, and that’s what I thought after watching him on tape. But he’s come out here and he’s good in space. He can move a lot better than I had anticipated.”

Studesville believes the qualities that initially attracted the team to Wright will continue to develop.

“I think he’s got some more physical play in him,” he said. “I think we’ve just scratched the surface of him being able to be a punishing runner in this league.”

And while most rookies struggle adjusting to the speed of the game, Wright said that’s not the main difference he’s noticed.

“It’s the intensity — that’s the biggest thing,” he said. “It’s all about how well you take in everything.”

Wright is married with a son and daughter. With a family comes maturity, which Wright said has helped him adapt to the professional level.

Dwayne Wright

NUMBER: 31

POSITION: Running back

HEIGHT: 5-foot-11

WEIGHT: 228 pounds

COLLEGE: Fresno State

HOMETOWN: San Diego, Calif.

DRAFT: Fourth round, 111th overall