Mississippi State senior linebacker Richie Brown talks about the new Bulldog defensive scheme.

Mississippi State will resume spring practices on Tuesday. The Bulldogs squeezed in one practice session before breaking camp for a well earned spring break. For senior linebacker Richie Brown, this spring like the previous two will be about installing a new defensive system. Brown is a quick study and from the sound of things, the new minister of Bulldog defense, Coach Peter Sirmon already has an ally in his meeting room in Richie Brown.

"He's a great coach," Brown said of Sirmon. "You know, he's an ex-NFL guy. There is something about coaches who have played before and you can have a lot of respect for. He's a great coach and he's teaching us a really good scheme. I love his philosophy and what he's about."

Inquiring Bulldog fans want to know if the Mississippi State defense is going to have a whole sale alignment change. Will the 4-3 be a thing of the past as the 3-4 defense becomes the new Bulldog way?

"It's going to be a little bit of both," Brown shared. "It's going to be football and you know a lot of it is going to be the same. Obviously there is a new guy, so there is going to be a new scheme. There are going to be new things here or there, but pretty much it's going to be Mississippi State football."

The first day back on the practice field appears to have agreed with Brown who approaches his final season in Starkville as the experienced veteran who doubles as another coach on the field.

"It was good. It's exciting," Brown said of spring practice. "I missed playing football and it's always good the first day getting back out. We have a lot of young guys running around and you have to take a serious leadership role on a first day like this. A lot of guys are asking questions."

Brown will be flanked by a pair of new starters this fall at outside linebacker. Zach Jackson complete his playing career as a senior and Beniquez Brown elected to forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

The steps towards settling the depth chart are just beginning, but Brown likes what he has seen from the returning linebackers who are battling for starting positions.

"They're developing and we just threw a whole new defense at them," Brown said. "For these younger guys, they were just getting the hang of the old defense. So they have just have to figure it out and figure out what to do.They have to figure out how they learn best, but they're developing. They're doing good."

Coach Sirmon will look to count heavily on Brown who is now the elder Statesman in more ways than one. #39 reports that he is prepared to embrace that role in hopes of leading the Bulldog defense to new heights.

"It's a fun role," Brown said with a laugh. "Me and Beniquez kind of split it last year. He could take care of this side, while I took care of this side. He could make calls to the line if I was in a walk and vice versa.

"This year, I am just trying to make sure that the guys around me are ready to play and to have the same role that Beniquez shared with me last year. Anything I can do to lead and whatever I can do I am going to do it to the best I can."

Brown lead Mississippi State in tackles during the 2015 season with 109. That total was good enough for third best in the entire Southeastern Conference. The Long Beach, Mississippi native led the Bulldogs in sack with 6.5 and finished second on the team with 13 tackles for loss.


Gene's Page Top Stories