When the Chicago Bears held a press conference at the end of the 2009 NFL season, and announced Head Coach, Lovie Smith would be back for another year it became a foregone conclusion the team would once again be utilizing the Tampa-Two or Cover-Two defensive scheme. Within that system the two key positions are the three-technique defensive lineman and the safety. The Bears believe with the addition of free agent, Julius Peppers to take some of the pressure, Tommie Harris will rebound from a sub par 2009 season and be that three-technique guy, and after selecting Florida Gator, Major Wright with their 3rd round pick the Bears feel they have the impact safety the team has lacked since the departure of Mike Brown.
In his article, Bears make Major decision, Jeff Dickerson writes, “Wright, a three-year starter for the Gators has the reputation of being a big-hitter with playmaking ability.” He goes on to add, “He had only 32 tackles in 2009, but did have three interceptions finishing with eight career picks for Florida.”
While with the Gators, Wright played 41 games with 33 starts at safety over his three seasons. He ended his college career with 165 tackles. During his freshman year he set a school record with four forced fumbles on his way to being named a Freshman All-American. He followed this up with a strong sophomore year that included seven games where he had five or more tackles. He also had nine tackles in the BCS Championship game that year against Oklahoma along with a key interception.
Joseph Goodman in his article, Florida Gators’ Major Wright: ‘I’m living my dream'” writes, “A knockout artist of the highest order, Wright said earlier this week that his favorite memory of being a Gator will always be the bone-crushing blow he administered in the first quarter of the 2009 BCS national championship at Dolphin Stadium in the backyard of his hometown.” Goodman added, “Oklahoma receiver, Juaquin Iglesias was streaking down the sidelines and appeared to be wide open for a deep pass from quarterback Sam Bradford. Wright ended the threat with a perfectly timed collision that sent chills through everyone who watched it.”
Major Wright played his high school ball for St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida where he helped lead his team to a State title in 2006. At the end of his high school career, Wright was ranked sixth overall among Florida’s top 100 prospects. He was heavily recruited by such high profile programs as Ohio St., Notre Dame, and Miami University before choosing the Gators.
Wright could prove to be an immediate impact player and with a lack of talent at the safety position, Major could find himself as the starter.
According to Bears’ Head Coach, Lovie Smith, “He’s going to bring a lot of energy to our defense. Big hitter. He has good skills as far as coverage is concerned. He’s pretty excited about being a Chicago Bear, and we are too.” And Bears’ General Manager, Jerry Angelo added, “He has the traits to start. That’s where it starts with us.”
At first glance Major Wright has everything Bears’ fans love. He is a big-time, punishing type hitter with the ability to make plays in coverage. He is also a character guy with a strong work ethic. If he can live up to his potential and with Brian Urlacher on the downside of his career, Major Wright could quickly find himself as the face of the Chicago Bears’ defense if not the franchise for years to come.
How excited is Major Wright to be a Chicago Bear? Upon finding out he had been drafted by the Monsters of the Midway he had this to say, “Words can’t even describe it. I literally just ran down the street, laid in the middle and started to cry.”
Let all Bears’ fans hope Major Wright shows the same passion and exuberance for the game on the gridiron of Soldier Field in 2010 and beyond.
Jeff Dickerson, “Bears make Major decision”, sports.espn.go.com
Joseph Goodman, “Florida Gators’ Major Wright: ‘I’m living in my dream'”, Miamiherald.com
“Major Wright”, CBSSports.com