Shareece Wright is going through a rough patch.
The Ravens cornerback has given up five touchdowns over the last three games, and the 23-yard score he allowed to Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree last week proved to be the difference in the 28-27 defeat.
Wright has taken his share of criticism over the last few days, but the six-year veteran insists his confidence isn't wavering.
"I just have to get out of this slump, and hopefully it doesn't last long," Wright said. "Just don't give up on yourself, and know that you can do it. It's not a physical thing. I have the ability to play this game."
Wright's season has been a bit of a roller coaster. He was the defensive star of the first game, racking up a career-high 11 tackles, including three tackles for loss.
But the struggles started the next game and have carried into following weeks. Quarterbacks are going after Wright, and he's been targeted 25 times in three games. He's allowed 16 catches for 205 yards and the five scores over that stretch, according to Pro Football Focus.
"I feel like I was kind of pressing to make a play [against Oakland] because things weren't going well, and I felt like I needed to go make a play," Wright said. "In those moments, you can't press to make plays. You just have to let the plays come to you, most importantly."
As Wright seeks for ways to break out of his slump, he stressed the importance of starting strong.
"One play can turn a game all bad for you. But one good play can make the whole difference in turning things around," Wright said. "And that's what goes back to making those plays early in the game, getting that confidence that things are going to go well."
Wright's performance has led to questions about whether the Ravens would make a change at the positon, similar to the move they made at running back in replacing Justin Forsett with Terrance West.
Will Davis, who has been inactive the first four games, is a candidate to be inserted into the lineup. Jerraud Powers and Tavon Young are better suited to play in the slot, but the Ravens could consider giving them a look outside. Sheldon Price has the size to play outside, but he's never started a game and is also dealing with a thigh injury.
Defensive Coordinator Dean Pees said the decision on who gets the start will depend on how the group practices throughout the week.
"We all need to play better. It's not just Shareece," Pees said. "We have to do a better job maybe putting him in not so tough situations. It's across the board. It's open competition for everybody on defense every week. Everybody has to compete every week in practice. What we do is we always assess at the end of the week who is playing the best at that position and that's the guy that's going to play. Nobody has security anywhere."
Wright echoed Pees' comments about having a good week of practice, and he's also well aware of the criticism coming his way. He answered questions Thursday from several reporters about his performance, and said he leans on the support of his teammates.
Long-time friend Jimmy Smith said he "absolutely" still has confidence in Wright, and added that "he showed today at practice that the door is not closed on him."
As Wright looks to get back on track Sunday against Washington, he's leaning on that support from his teammates.
"I don't care about anybody else's opinion, other than my teammates, my coaches and myself. Anybody else, their opinion doesn't mean anything to me, good or bad," Wright said. "They know how important it is for them to rally behind me to keep me out of that slump, or to keep my confidence high. These guys in the locker room, they understand."