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New coach Brewster learning Bulldogs' offensive system on the fly

 

Matthew Stevens

 

STARKVILLE --- MSU head coach Dan Mullen said on the first day new wide receivers coach Tim Brewster was on the job would be the language barrier. 

 

Brewster has been hard at work trying to decipher MSU's code words for a crossing route and hot route in the Bulldogs offense so he'll competent while coaching his position group Saturday for the 2012 season against Jackson State University (6 p.m., Fox Sports South). 

 

"He's in here picking it up and he knows the game of football, knows what he's doing as a coach," Mullen said during the Southeastern Conference media teleconference Wednesday. "There's always going to be a little bit of a language barrier he'll be working through with how we call things." 

 

Brewster, who was hired four days following the resignation of Angelo Mirando, said Tuesday he'll be coaching on the field similarly to when Mirando held the full-time position the past two years. 

 

"I've been on the field most of my career for the most part and I think my temperament is much more suited to being on the field as opposed to being in the environment of the press box," Brewster said. 

 

"I like the activity on the boundary and I've never had a receivers coach be in the box and they need to be on the field and work substitution patters." 

 

Brewster has experience working in the pro-style offense commonly used in the National Football League along with the spread-option formations during his time as a head coach at the University of Minnesota. 

 

"I've got a whole lot of football in my mind through the years with the West Coast Offense, Norv Turner's 3-digit offense but it's really been good," Brewster said Tuesday. "The sequence of this offense makes sense and Dan has done a great job of adapting his system so players can learn it. I think the biggest problem coaches make sometimes is they get so concerned with what they know as opposed to what the players know. The concepts are very similar to what I've been accustomed to." 

 

MSU has four senior wide receivers and Mullen, who is entering his fourth season as a head coach in Starkville, said the experience will help Brewster make the transition in such a short amount of time before Saturday's contest. 

 

n Johnthan Banks earns ESPN.com All-America honors: Just days before the start of the 2012 regular season is set to begin MSU senior cornerback Johnthan Banks received one final preseason honor. 

 

The senior cornerback from Maben was named to the ESPN.com first-team All-America team Wednesday morning to add to the laundry list of accolades he has been nominated for this summer. 

 

In addition to being given All-SEC preseason first-team honors while also being named to Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list last week, MSU senior cornerback Johnthan Banks was selected Monday to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list -- given to college football's best defensive back. 

 

Last season Banks was the only cornerback in the SEC last year to rack up at least 70 tackles and record five interceptions, Banks was named to the 2011 All-SEC second team by the Associated Press and the All-SEC third team by Phil Steele Magazine. Banks was a finalist for the Conerly Trophy and was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award during the 2011 season. 

 

"It's so hard not to pay attention to all the stuff coming at you but I try to be humble and keep myself around my teammates," Banks said in July. "My honors and whatever in the preseason ain't going to determine what makes our season. I'm looking at this team to be one of the top teams in the country and I'm just going to keep working hard and not listen to none of that." 

 

With one more interception this season, Banks will be all alone in second place on the all-time interceptions list in MSU history and just four behind Walt Harris for the career record in that category. 

 

"I'm looking forward to breaking the record (and) if I don't I'm going to be pretty disappointed," Banks said. "But if I don't I hope I at least get one pick, that will move me up to second and I won't feel too bad being behind a guy that played in the NFL, what, fifteen years? That's an honor." 

 

n Heavens moving to outside WR position for more production: In an attempt to have his final season in Starkville be his most productive, MSU senior wide receiver Brandon Heavens has moved from an inside slot position to an outside position in 2012. 

 

Heavens, who has never had more than 22 catches in a season, will be the backup to senior Arceto Clark at the outside 'X' receiver position in order to use his vertical speed more enough in the passing game. 

 

"It was a pretty easy transition for me because a long time ago we already learned the routes and concepts instead of just individual positions," Heavens said Tuesday. "It's really a lot more one on one based out on the outside and I kind of like that a little more." 

 

Throughout his first three seasons, Heavens had always served as the backup for Chad Bumphis in the slot but that 5-foot-8 sophomore Jameon Lewis is currently occupying position on MSU's depth chart. 

 

"He is, if not, our fastest then one of our fastest wide outs so he gives that deep threat going on the outside that he can vertically stretch the field with his speed," Mullen said. "I think his experience makes it a very easy adjustment for him because he's played a lot of football (and) knows all the positions and can easily move back inside and it gives him the opportunity to get him on the field." 

 

Heavens' career best game came two years ago in the season opener against the University of Memphis when he had five catches for 112 yards two touchdowns in a 49-7 victory on Sept. 4, 2010.

 

 

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