Saturday, July 9, 2016
New look on The Bluff: Defensive coordinator Trei Oliver handles one of many reworked roles for the Southern Jaguars
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana -- First-year Southern defensive coordinator Trei Oliver is in the unusual position of working for the man he replaced.
Jaguars head coach Dawson Odums decided to relinquish defensive coordinator duties after last season, then hired Oliver away from North Carolina A&T to take over.
When asked recently about that unusual dynamic, Oliver quipped, “The one thing you’re not going to do is talk about the last guy that was in your position.”
Actually, the new defensive coordinator is a lot like the old defensive coordinator. Odums and Oliver were teammates at North Carolina Central, and they were assistant coaches together at their alma mater under current North Carolina A&T defensive coordinator Sam Washington.
“We’re not reinventing the wheel,” Odums said. “He’s got a mindset like mine in that he’s going to put an emphasis on stopping the run, be simple and have guys flying around to the football.”
The one difference is that Odums’ background is up front, having played defensive end, nose guard and linebacker, while Oliver’s is on the back end, having been a safety and a standout punter.
“He’s a genius when it comes to the fronts; I’m more of a secondary guy,” Oliver said. “We’re not going to change a whole lot of what they did last year up front per se, but we’re going to do a lot more on the back end as far as coverages.”