March 15, 2010

Wright ready to flourish in new defense

For the fourth year in a row Mississippi State will not only have a new linebackers coach but also a new defensive coordinator.

That in turn means that senior linebacker K.J. Wright has gone through a position coach and coordinator each year he has been in Starkville. But the hiring of Manny Diaz has the 6-foot-4, 247-pounder excited about the possibilities for his final season.

"So far it's looking good," Wright said. "We've put in a couple of new installs recently and the one thing I've noticed about (Diaz) is that we are going to be real aggressive. He's got some real good blitzes that I've noticed. I think this year we are going to be able to make some plays with the new scheme that we've got."

Wright will gain more firsthand knowledge of Diaz's defense when the Bulldogs begin spring practice March 23. He is just beginning to check out the playbook and has noticed there will be a new coverage package to learn.

"It's called palms coverage," Wright said. "We are playing a lot of palm so I believe that will help out our corners make more plays and it will help us out at linebacker. I'm not too familiar with it just now but I believe it is going to work for us."

Wright played in all 12 games for MSU last season drawing 10 starts. He finished second on the team in tackles with 82 (41 solo, 41 assists) and also logged two sacks, two pass breakups, four quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

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