One of the bright spots in a down year for the New York Jets has been the improved safety play, led by LaRon Landry. He has been an asset in run defense, and despite a poor reputation against the pass, has recorded 2 INT’s. An interesting subplot to tomorrow’s game is the battle of the Landry brothers, LaRon and Dawan. Rex has coached both of them, and talked about the two of them this week:
Absolutely, you guys see LaRon, so you can imagine, just go one extreme to the other. But they’re both beautiful. They are great people (and) are passionate guys about the game. They are very similar that way. They’re both great teammates and they love to play the game. It’s funny because they just approach it differently. When I had Dawan (in Baltimore), he came in as a fifth-round pick from Georgia Tech and we needed a safety. I remember (saying) to (Baltimore General Manager) Ozzie (Newsome), ‘Ozzie, you just drafted another running back.’ We had just picked up Mike Anderson. We had a whole stable of backs. I said, ‘Really, I still don’t have a safety.’ Literally, we had lost a bunch of safeties. So we get this kid in the fifth round and Ozzie (says), ‘Trust me.’ I (say), ‘Ozzie, I do trust you.’ We get this kid in the fifth round and we have someone else ahead of him, but I’m looking at him and I (think), ‘Wow, this guy knows his stuff.’ He practices like crazy. They’re similar that way, he just doesn’t smash his own guys the way LaRon does. (joking) But wow, he practices. I remember (talking to) the owner, and he (says), “Who do you think will start at safety, this player or that player?” (I said) ‘No, no, no, our rookie (Dawan Landry) is going to start.’ It was obvious then to me, and we never looked back. He had some great numbers. He had five interceptions, (three) sacks (and) about 100 tackles his rookie year. Then (Washington) brings in his hotshot brother (in 2007), who was not a fifth-round (selection), but the (sixth-overall) pick. I (said), ‘Yeah, my guy has better numbers,’ but then you see both of them. They both are great players and they just do it a little differently. I’m really proud of the way Dawan has handled himself and he’s going to be a guy who has a 10-year career. I don’t think there’s any doubt.
It should be fun tomorrow.