Reason No. 7: Keith Burns | Ole Miss Sports

This is a random order. Here’s reason No. 7 Ole Miss will be improved in 2011.

I’ve talked a lot about press coverage in regard to Keith Burns, and certainly there will be more of it this season.

It won’t be the only coverage played by Ole Miss defensive backs, but it will be emphasized.

In discussing with Pete Boone the problems that led to a 4-8 record last year, one of the observations from the AD was soft coverage in the secondary.

Press coverage was part of the plan yesterday. Sometimes the corners did get burned, but they also made good plays.

In one-on-one drills you could see receivers working hard to get open. Ja-Mes Logan lost his cover man for a split second, long enough to make a nice catch. On another play, Melvin Harris was covered and used his lengthy frame for a good catch.

Competition does indeed make everyone better.

Burns is an aggressive coach, and he has more talent to work with than was on the 2010 roster. Much of the talent is inexperienced, but it’s definitely faster.

Burns’ task is to “coach em up” as they say.

He has coached 14 players who have gone on to professional careers, including two draft picks in the spring of 2009 while he coached at San Jose State.

Burns coached the Kansas State secondary last year and produced a freshman All-American in safety Ty Zimmerman and two more defensive backs who earned All-Big 12 honors.

There are more pieces and parts in place this year. Nick Brassell and Senquez Golson made plays yesterday that justified the buzz.

They’re young, and they need all the work they can get this month to be ready to contribute against BYU.

It’s a challenge for Burns, who has met challenges before.