Louis Wright was drafted by the Denver Broncos with the 17th pick in the first round of the 1975 NFL Draft. He was a 6-2 200 pound corner with excellent speed and he played the run as well as any corner I have ever seen. In high school and junior college in his hometown, Bakersfield, California, he was a track star. He ran 9.6 seconds in the 100-yard dash and leaped 25 feet 7 inches in the long jump. These were the marks that pro scouts called, ''natural athletic talent.'' (1) Louis Wright was born on January 31, 1953.
Louis Wright - Orange Crush Defense
When Louis Wright joined the Broncos, he came to a team on the rise, especially on the defensive side of the football. With his size and strength he was able to play bump and run coverage and was able to take away the other team’s best wide receiver.
Wright goes back to a time when a cornerback could assault a receiver, bump him and harass him through his pass route. The rules changes of 1978 forbade that and made a fundamental change in the game. The offensive emphasis went from running to passing, the latter now made easier. Although the cornerback's job became more difficult, Wright did not hark back to the good old days.
“I think those rules changes were a good thing,” Louis Wright said. “It sure chased a lot of guys out of the league who couldn't cover. To play this position now, you've got to be a cover guy all the way.”
In 1977, Louis Wright went to the pro bowl for the first time. He helped lead the Denver Broncos and their Orange Crush Defense along with Lyle Alzado, Tom Jackson, & Randy Gradishar to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.
Louis Wright - 86 AFC Championship Game
For Louis Wright, the AFC Championship Game will be his ninth playoff game of his career. He said, “Now we have a chance to win the A.F.C. championship, and that's all we're concerned with. You're only as good as your last game.” Louis Wright and the Denver Broncos did just that.
During the 1986 AFC Championship Game, Louis Wright made a huge difference coming up and playing the run. The Cleveland Browns had two huge running backs in Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner. On numerous occasions, Louis Wright made great one on one tackles in the open field. His great defensive play, both against the pass and the run kept the game close and gave John Elway an opportunity to lead Denver on a 98 yard Drive to tie the game.
Louis Wright Honor Roll
“Ah, I missed the Pro Bowl this year,” Wright said before the 1986 AFC Championship Game. “I didn't do anything spectacular enough. I only had three interceptions. You've got to have the stats or make some big plays that people talk about. That's how you get to the Pro Bowl.” Wright mentioned that this season had not been up to his usual standard because, he said, ''I got beat for a touchdown pass.'' One touchdown pass? "Yes, one and only one." (1)
Louis Wright set a high standard in Denver earning five Pro Bowl invitations; 1977-79, 1983, and 1985. During hisTop of Formhihh twelve year career Wright had 26 interceptions for 360 yards and 1 touchdown. He possessed great ability to shut down opposing wide receivers and make big plays stopping the running game. “Half them corners don't want to hit nobody,” Wright said. “You can't find really good cover corners that are saying, 'OK, I'm a cover corner, but I'm also a football player.' They're just kind of hard to find. They're Deion Sanders wannabes.” (2) Louis Wright was a football player. Not only was he great against the pass, he was awesome when playing the run.
Since his retirement Louis Wright was voted to the NFL 1970’s All Decade Team and he was added to the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame.
By A. Goodin, 20Yardline.com
Louis Wright Biography Sources:(1) A.F.C. CHAMPIONSHIP: BROWNS VS. BRONCOS; Wright Still Calm at Corner (1987, January 11) New York Times
(2) BRONCOS' HIRED HIT MEN CORNERBACKS AREN'T HOLDING BACK WHEN IT COMES TO TACKLING (2004, October 16) Rocky Mountain News