Kentucky defensive coordinator Brad White says outside linebacker Jordan Wright has one obvious advantage as he gets ready to step into a starting role. That edge? Getting to against all-SEC caliber offensive tackles Landon Young and Darian Kinnard daily in practice.
“To have those guys is huge for anybody,” White said. “It’s great for Boogie (Watson). Great for Jordan to have to go against really talented, physical, confident tackles. They learn and we teach (from what happens going against them).”
White said if Wright, Watson and even JJ Weaver went against players in practice they could beat all the time it would not help them develop.
“There would not be much teaching involved,” White said. “When they lose reps, there is a pride piece and they want to get better. Those guys make us better and hopefully we do the same for them.
“We talk about not going against a better duo (of offensive tackles) in this league. You will find guys that are pretty talented on a lot of teams but those two are as good as any.”
White has big expectations for Wright, a backup last year who still made some significant plays.
“We are expecting him to take that next step. He has added strength and more mass,” White said. “It enhances his toolbox as a player. There are still things he needs to work through and nuances that can help him. His pass rush game has really taken a leap.
“When I first got here in (20)18, he was just a long, rangy player. If he was able to slip the edge he would look good but he had no power. He has developed. He’s learned to play with a more physical mindset.
“You have got to play with that physical mindset at that position and then with explosion and length you can be a dynamic player. We are expecting big things from him.”