"It's really all about playing Ole Miss," Wright said after practice Tuesday. "It's not about playing Coach Nutt. I met him a few times before he was gone and he was a good guy. Some of the other guys knew him better than me. Jerry Franklin was here and he talked about that yesterday (to the media). He knew him. All of the guys say about the same thing about Coach Nutt."
Wright said that if there was any thoughts among players concerning Nutt, they were mostly long gone.
"I feel like most everyone already let that go," Wright said. "I think that's only for fans to blow up. To us, it's just another game now."
That doesn't mean the Hogs are minimizing the importance. Wright said playing the Rebels is huge.
"It's an SEC game and it is huge," he said. "Each and every week, it's huge in the SEC. Our approach doesn't change. Each week we know the team we play is going to be very good, regardless of the record. They don't ever change.
"So what you have to focus on is yourself and getting better every day. You have to keep working to improve in practice because you know the team you are going to play is doing the same thing."
Wright said the Hogs must do what they did last year, improve in the second half of the season. Does the thought of that stretch run help provide confidence that 5-1 could lead to something big with a strong finish?
"I don't think that this team lacks confidence so that they need to think about that second half last year," Wright said. "Because we know we have a great team. We know what we are capable of doing without thinking about last year. You don't look back. You look forward. We just have to keep working."
That's what offensive coordinator Garrick McGee talked about, the hard work that continues on a daily basis. He said this is the time of year that the practices "get a little shorter. But that doesn't mean we stop grinding because we are about hard work. It doesn't change. We work on Tuesday and Wednesday. We worked hard today."
The Hogs were practicing for the first time since Thursday. It was an impressive practice, according to McGee. He said fresh legs led to a fast practice.
"Today went well," McGee said. "We had energy, spirit and looked fast. We were as healthy on offense as we've been. We were roaring to get back on the field."
McGee wasn't asked about Nutt, but he did mention Ole Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix.
"He's known as one of the best assistant coaches in the country," McGee said. "He's tough minded. He has his defense playing the progressions. You shouldn't judge him by the way they played Alabama because Alabama has made a lot of teams look like that this year.
"The Ole Miss defense plays fast. They are young, but they understand the system. We know they will play their best game of the year."
McGee said he sees some new twists to the Ole Miss defense, perhaps because of the arrival of secondary coach Keith Burns, a former Arkansas assistant and player.
"He may have brought in some things in the secondary, or they went out as a staff and got them after last season," McGee said. "They play more zone coverage than in the past. Tyrone had played a little more up-in-your-face man coverage on the corner. They are more combinations and bracket coverages in the secondary than in the past."
Wright said that's a change from the steady diet of man-to-man that is the staple of the SEC.
"We saw a lot of zone earlier, but when you get into the SEC, it's mainly man," he said. "We have plays for both. We have played zone teams this year."
McGee and Wright were asked about the progress from senior wideout Greg Childs, perhaps coming on after a slow start because of knee surgery.
"Greg has been playing well," McGee said. "He's blocking well. What you see is that teams are playing a corner, with a safety over on his side. So that means that the play goes to the other side. You saw that a lot against Texas A&M and Auburn. But teams might start to play us different and go away from that coverage. That might mean Greg is open in some other games.
"What I like is that Greg's attitude never changes. Sometimes when a defense tries to take a player, that bothers them. He knows that his job is sometimes just to blow out that safety and leave room for another guy to come into that area. That's what has been happening.
"Greg has been committed to winning. Like I said, his attitude has been great."
Wright said, "Greg is a team player. And he knows in this offense it can be your time any given day."
McGee said the offensive line has progressed in the run blocking during the open week under the direction of assistant Chris Klenakis.
"I think our guys are anxious to get out there (in the run game)," McGee said. "We know who we are now. Coach K really worked on our pad level, our technique and our second effort -- what it takes to open a hole a little bit better."
The Hogs got a big play in the running game against Auburn when Joe Adams rolled around left end on a 92-yard touchdown run. Has Adams asked for the ball more since?
"We tell Joe that he's going to get some touches back there at punt return," McGee said. "We know our defense is going to get him the ball. Now, Joe wants the ball as much as he can get it, but doesn't have it in him to go into coach (Bobby) Petrino's office and tell him he wants it more."