Updated: August 2, 2011 at 12:00 am
Air Force senior cornerback Anthony Wright is clear: He won’t use injuries as an excuse for his 2010 performance. But, the injuries were there.
Wright played through bruised ribs, a sore Achilles’ tendon and a back injury last season. He didn’t sit out any games, which meant he couldn’t fully recover.
The results weren’t bad, with an honorable mention nod on the All-Mountain West team. However, Wright had set the bar so high, 2010 was considered a bit of a down year.
In 2009, he led the conference with seven interceptions and was named second-team all-conference. He was a preseason All-Mountain West pick last year. So, honorable mention wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t what everyone expects from Wright.
“Junior year is behind me, we had a good season, I thought I had an OK season, but I’m focusing on senior year,” said Wright, who had two interceptions last year. “I’m 100 percent and going to try to stay that way.”
Wright is back on the All-Mountain West preseason team as a senior, and he wants to be on the first team after the season too. His athleticism and ball-seeking mentality hasn’t gone anywhere, and now he is back to full health.
“My goal is to be the best corner in this conference,” Wright said.
Wright’s role will be a bit different this year. When there’s an all-conference cornerback on one side of the field and a corner with almost no experience on the other, it’s easy to guess which side opposing quarterbacks will test first. Reggie Rembert has graduated, so Wright might not see as much action. As such, Wright knows that numbers alone might not be the best indicator of his value.
“I want to be fundamentally sound, being able to lock whoever comes over to my side down,” Wright said.
Wright will get more opportunities if the starting cornerback opposite him – Josh Hall is first in line for the starting spot, but Chris Miller and perhaps Steffon Batts and P.J. Adeji-Paul will be in the mix for the job – plays well this season. The Falcons need Wright to take advantage of however many opportunities he gets to make plays. Air Force had just 11 interceptions in the regular season last year, and increasing that number this season is a priority.
“We have to be better finishers this year,” safety Jon Davis said. “We have enough talent back there.”