Troy University has never really been known to be a defensive proverbial powerhouse when it comes to college football.
Sure, this is the same school that has produced top NFL defensive talents such as Osi Umenyiora, Leodius McKelvin and, of course, multiple time pro bowler DeMarcus Ware, but as a defensive unit, Troy has been somewhat below average the last few years. In 2012, the Trojans were 84th in points allowed.
But this is a new year with a few new faces on the defense, and I’m not talking about on the field, but more on the sidelines.
After Wayne Bolt was hired as the new head honcho for preparing Larry Blakeney’s defense, Dustin Landry was hired as the team’s new defensive backs coach.
It’s no secret that when Bolt landed the gig, Landry was one of his first requests due to their relationship in the past.
‘I’ve known coach Bolt for five years,” Landry said.
“I know what he wants as far as recruits. We’re trying to build really good class. Coach Bolt and I are going around recruiting but our most important group is the guys on campus. We have to build strong relationships with them.”
Landry is no stranger to big time programs here in the south, as he graduated from Auburn University in 2006 and served as a graduated assistant in 2007.
After a short stent at Iowa State, Landry was brought back to plains under the tutelage of Gene Chizik, where he served as assistant coach for linebacking core in 2009 and the secondary in 2010 during their national championship run, as well as the nickel and dime packages in 2011.
Landry decided to take his talents elsewhere in 2012, as he served as Navarro College’s defensive coordinator. His defense was 13th in the NJCAA, allowing only 256 yards per game.
As soon as Landry got the call from Bolt though, he didn’t hesitate to return to sweet home Alabama.
“There’s noting like football in the southeast,” Landry said,
“I thought it was the right opportunity to go to a junior college. It was great to do my own thing but it’s really nice to get back to Alabama.”
Landry knows that the challenge to rebuild the defense on this team is one of great magnitude, but he knows the kind of work that he has to put in in order to succeed.
“We’re really in high spirits and feel good where we’re at,” Landry said
“Obviously we’ve got a challenge, but Troy is not foreign at having good defenses. We have to look at the film and see what we have to work on in order to get ready for the spring.”
Landry knows that Troy’s schedule for the upcoming season has been released, but he does not want to look too far ahead into the future.
“We’re just taking it one day at a time.”