TAMPA — Saying Tim Wright is a fast mover seems like an understatement.
The undrafted rookie out of Rutgers opened the season fourth on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers depth chart at tight end behind Luke Stocker, Tom Crabtree and Nate Byham. Five games later, Wright has taken over the position and established himself as a dependable target over the middle for rookie quarterback Mike Glennon.
“Mike and I came in together as rookies and spent a lot of time in the offseason getting our timing down,’’ Wright said Monday. “You never thought we’d be the two hooking up together at this point, but it happened.’’
Wright, 23, ranks third on the club with 13 catches for 138 yards and will head to Atlanta’s Georgia Dome on Sunday coming off a breakthrough game. He more than doubled his season total with seven catches for 91 yards in Sunday’s 31-20 loss to the Eagles and four of Wright’s receptions came on successful third-down conversions,
“It’s definitely starting to click,’’ said Wright, who switched from wide receiver to tight end during June’s minicamp, trading in a No. 18 jersey for No. 81. “I had to learn the ins and outs of a new position, learning how the linebackers and safeties are going to cover me.’’
While Stocker (hip) and Byham (knee) are on season-ending injured reserve, Crabtree made his regular-season debut for Tampa Bay on Sunday, playing primarily in short-yardage situations.
Although Wright is still listed behind Crabtree on the current depth chart, he has developed an obvious rapport with Glennon.
“I thought Tim made a lot of plays,’’ said Bucs coach Greg Schiano, who directed Wright for three years at Rutgers. “I’m glad that we’re getting the tight end more involved.’’
Through five games, the Bucs haven’t scored an offensive touchdown in the second half of any game.
Tampa Bay has been blanked in the third quarter all season and opponents own a 35-13 scoring advantage in the final quarter, when the Bucs have been limited to a pair of field goals and Mason Foster’s 85-yard interception return for a score.
“Up until (Sunday), we hadn’t scored a lot of points, period,’’ Schiano said. “Then, again in the second half, costly turnovers on the plus-side of the field. The Arizona game, we put the ball on the ground right at midfield after a fake punt. This week, we’re driving and we throw the interception. You can’t turn the ball over when you get in scoring position.’’
Good as advertised
Darrelle Revis took responsibility for DeSean Jackson’s two touchdown catches Sunday, but Schiano has no problem with the way the All-Pro cornerback is playing, especially considering Revis is a year removed from knee surgery.
“Darrelle is making a lot of plays, he’s shutting people down in a lot of different situations,’’ said Schiano. “Nobody’s going to be perfect, so I think when asked about a particular play, Darrelle’s a straight shooter and he’s going to tell it the way it is.
“He’s doing what we brought him here to do and as he gets more comfortable, physically and with his teammates and the scheme, it’s only going to get better and better.’’
RB Jeff Demps (groin) will be evaluated with tests this week and said it’s too early to determine whether G Carl Nicks (MRSA staph infection) will need surgery on his left foot, Schiano said. The Bucs expect WR Mike Williams, inactive Sunday with a hamstring injury, to return at Atlanta. ...The Falcons boast a 34-3 scoring advantage in the opening quarter, but have allowed 131 points the rest of the way. ...Tampa Bay’s passing game ranks last in the league, while Atlanta boasts the NFC’s most prolific passing attack.