After a year in which a youthful Tribe defense became a weekly punching bag for CAA opponents, the unit will return a year older, stronger, and — most importantly — with one season of defensive coordinator Bob Shoop’s game plan under its belt.
“Something that I haven’t experienced since being here is having the same defense two years in a row,” senior cornerback Derek Cox said. “Rather than having to be out on the field thinking about what you’re doing, you already know because you already learned it last year, so now we can just react and play ball.”
Cox, an All-CAA third team selection in 2007, will partner with senior linebacker Josh Rutter and junior defensive end Adrian Tracy to anchor a unit that can only build on last year’s dismal season.
“We’ve got some players there that can play, but we’ve got to get it out of them and in the right situations we’ve got to make plays,” Head Coach Jimmye Laycock said. “They’ve got to play harder and they’ve got to get it done.”