The Wright stuff

A couple of field goal attempts that went wide left haven't shaken Steelers special teams coordinator Danny Smith's faith in fill-in kicker Matthew Wright.

"There are certain people in my life I trust and I trust him," Smith maintained prior to practice today. "He's very good.

"His game was not good enough. He's a very good player."

Wright was signed off the Chiefs' practice squad on Nov. 9, which means he must remain on the Steelers' 53-man roster for three weeks.

He replaced Nick Sciba, who had replaced Chris Boswell for the Steelers' 35-13 loss to the Eagles on Oct. 30 in Philadelphia.

Boswell was placed on the Reserve/Injured list on Nov. 10 (groin). 

Wright arrived having made 28 of 32 field goal attempts in an NFL career that began with the Steelers in 2020.

He went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts with the Steelers then, 21-of-24 with the Jaguars in 2021 and 3-for-4 in a fill-in role in Kansas City this season.

But Wright missed wide left from 39 yards out in the third quarter and from 48 yards out in the fourth quarter in last Sunday's 20-10 victory over the Saints.

He hit two 33-yard field goals and made both of his extra points against New Orleans.

"It's a new procedure and we don't have time but it takes time, it just does," Smith emphasized. "t's just different, it's just new and it ain't natural. I can kick and he can hold and he can (snap), but we gotta pout this together, and that's hard.

"I'm not making excuses for him. He should make all those kicks. But it doesn't surprise me, either."

Wright made a career-long 59-yard field goal for the Chiefs on Oct. 10 against the Raiders in Kansas City.

Wright's perceived range with the Steelers is a week-to-week variable.

"It's situational," Smith said. "You talking about a game-winner? You talking about a regular field goal? All these guys that come out and say, 'Well, he can do this, he can do that, we're gonna kick every kick,' it's all kick-to-kick to me. Kicking off, when do you want touchbacks? What's the situation? Who we playing? How good is their return? How good are we covering? There's a lot of things that enter into that.

"I wouldn't expect us to come out with a 59-yarder on the opening drive. Now, put us in that situation with two seconds left in a game, we're gonna take a shot."