BC defensive lineman Harold Landry ready for ACC spotlight
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Harold Landry isn’t the kind of guy who likes to call attention to himself, which is why he was admittedly nervous yesterday about the prospect of facing a room full of cameras and questioners at the ACC’s Football Kickoff event.
He better get used to the spotlight.
After setting a Boston College single-season record with 16.5 sacks last year, the senior defensive end is destined to be the center of attention for every offensive lineman he’ll face in 2017.
“It’s going to happen. I’m aware of that,” said Landry, who also led the nation with seven forced fumbles. “It’s annoying, but I’ll find a way (around it).”
Landry’s path to opposing quarterbacks figures to be more congested than rush hour traffic thanks to the double teams he’ll inevitably face. But he’s determined not to let that stop him from having a major impact on the Eagles defense.
“I’ve already told myself I’m not going to use that as an excuse to why I would not produce,” he said. “I just work too hard to not produce.
“I’m going to find a way. I’m going to watch as much film as I can and break down offenses as much as I can to find tendencies and help this team as much as I can.”
That willingness to be a student of the game was a key factor in Landry’s breakout season a year ago.
He said the extra hours in the film room helped him stay one step ahead of opposing offenses by improving his anticipation of things such as protection patterns and when teams like to pass in running situations.
It also doesn’t hurt that at 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, he’s as quick as a sprinter off the ball, has the flexibility to bend around less mobile tackles and the strength to bring quarterbacks down and rid them of the ball once he gets into the backfield.
“You just have to be explosive. You’ve got to be able to bend,” Landry said. “There’s a lot of things that come into play. I’m mostly a speed guy, but sometimes you have to go power because there’s good tackles out there that can handle speed. That’s one thing I’ve been working on this offseason that I’ll be able to show this year.”
Though it won’t be easy to improve on his performance of a year ago, BC coach Steve Addazio isn’t ready to rule it out.
Not after the growth Landry showed last season. It’s an improvement Addazio admits he didn’t see coming.
“We saw some potential in him, but to say we saw where he is right now, no,” Addazio said. “I don’t even know that I could have told you that last year at this time.”
Both the player and his coach agreed that defensive line coach Paul Pasqualoni, a former head coach whose impressive resume also includes tenures as an assistant with the Houston Texans and several other NFL teams, helped a great deal.
“I think coach Pasqualoni had a lot to do with this — the two of those guys coming together, (Landry’s) God-given explosiveness and ability to turn the corner, and then coach arming him with the technique tools,” Addazio said. “He’s an elite teacher. He’s coming off coaching J.J. Watt and company. Harold was the beneficiary of that.”