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June 1, 2014 @ 11:38 am
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Wright Hoping to Have Major Impact With Tampa Bay

Written by Mark
Mark Cook


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The Buccaneers appear to have their two starting safeties in Mark Barron and Dashon Goldson, but still signed former Bears safety Major Wright during free agency. The former Gators standout is helping the starting duo adjust to the Tampa 2 scheme while also preparing himself to see action in 2014.
When new Bucs safety Major Wright became available on the free agent market this spring, the other 31 NFL teams were at a distinct disadvantage when trying to lure him to their city.

“Lovie [Smith] being in Tampa played a big role in me coming here,’’ said Wright, who signed a one-year deal worth $795,000. “That’s my coach. He’s the one who drafted me, and I was with him for three years, so I’ve got a good feel for the man. I also know this defense, so that played a role, too.’’

Wright, who played for Smith his first three seasons in the NFL, was shocked when the Bears parted ways with his former – and now current coach – following the 2012 season.

“I was shocked, I just couldn’t believe it,’’ Wright said. “We had just gone 10-6 and missed the playoffs by one game, so it’s fair to say it was shocking.’’

Now that Wright, who has 253 career tackles and nine interceptions, and Smith have been reunited, the former Florida Gators standout is trying to define his role with the Buccaneers.

“Whatever my coach needs me to do, I am going to do it,” Wright said. “I am going to work my butt off every day. I know this defense in and out so I have a jump on that and it is just knowing it, and playing it. Reading your keys and doing whatever your job is supposed to be.”

Part of that role will be helping mentor starters Dashon Goldson and Mark Barron, who are recovering from injuries and haven't been able to participate in the team's OTAs. Wright’s experience in Smith’s Tampa 2 defense gives the team another coach on the field.

“They are real good, those two guys (Goldson and Barron) are learning and focusing on off the field putting themselves in game positions [and situations],” Wright said. “I help them and whatever they have questions on – any questions on formations, personnel – I help them.”

While having experience is an advantage for Wright, working his way into the starting lineup could be a difficult task, but he also knows most likely he will get some playing time this season.

“It is hard to go 16 games without any nicks or bruises,” Wright said. “When I was in Chicago, my first and second year, I ended up getting more playing time than I thought because of nicks and bruises. So you really have to know your stuff because at any moment you can be in.”

The significance of being literally the last line of defense on Sunday afternoons isn’t something lost on Wright.

“It is very, big, it is huge and gigantic,” Wright said. “If you have any second-guessing you can get beat, it’s a touchdown. You have to know what you are doing. We are like a quarterback. You have to make calls and checks and stuff like that. No busts, no busts – we have to all be on the same page.”

Wright, who set a career high in tackles last season with 100, isn’t just familiar with Smith. There is another player that Wright knows a lot about on Tampa Bay’s roster.

“Josh McCown is the real deal, believe me,’’ Wright said. “He studies the game so well that when he comes out on the field, it’s like boom, he’s got this. I wasn’t surprised by his success last year.”

After four seasons playing in mild weather in Chicago, Wright, a native of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., will have to readjust his conditioning to the Florida heat.

“That is taking me some adjusting to get used to,” Wright said. “It is very humid here, but I am from here (Florida) so I kind of had some idea of it, but it is tough.”
Last modified on Sunday, 01 June 2014 15:32

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    @MCook, I appreciate the insight on Major Wright. His stats are very good and he seems to be a well above average safety. I am perplexed why the Bears would not have resigned him. They let him test free agency and then let him go cheap! Has there been any talk on why they no longer wanted him?
  • avatar

    It is certainly great to have Major Wright here to be able to teach what he knows to our two Safeties so that they can get as comfortable as possible with the new defense, because it will be a big change from the sorry zone defense they learned from Stupid Schiano last year. It will also give us a veteran sub if one of them goes down. I also have heard that the Bear Defense was sorry last year (without Lovie Coaching it), but just remember how poorly the Saints played year before last when the same players had to play without their head coach! It made all the difference when they got their head coach back last year. Coaching makes a huge difference in the NFL, and we are going to be very different this year with Lovie and his Professional Staff! I saw Major Wright play every game he played with the Gators and he is an outstanding Safety and we are lucky to have him. If we had to play every down with Major Wright and Tandy it is would be very close to what you will see with our starters. We are very fortunate!
  • avatar

    hey Mark, I agree with Dbuc completely. Thanks for keeping this loooong off-season bearable by keeping the flame lit!!
  • avatar

    What am I missing with Wright? His numbers are pretty Awesome... He doesn't seem to have that great of size I guess so I'm not sure how hard he hits but he can't be that bad with the tackles and interceptions he has... I think he adds great depth and wouldn't mind at all if he gets playing time... Which he most definitely will seeing as how neither of our safeties have even been able to practice yet due to injuries and hoe Gholdson has a tendency to hit hard and well but not how the league wants him to... Does anyone have any constructive input as to why he shouldn't be on the field?
  • avatar

    If Goldson continues to call San Fran plays this year, Wright can step in...HEY MARK- everyone is commenting positively with the past SR5 and deserving so. I also think that with SR having many other responsibilities now that you deserve lots of credit as well for picking up the slack. Thanks for keeping the articles coming, especially off season, I think it only gets better for you. Keep it real dude!
  • avatar

    Hey Dbuc I really appreciate it man. Means a lot. Really excited about the new website and the upcoming football season. And SR and I have a couple features coming up between now and training camp I think you guys will love.
  • avatar

    If he sees much time on the field, were in trouble. Watched his career with the Bears (I live in Chicago). Bears fans were not upset to lose him in FA. Conte was awful, but Wright didn't do much better.
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