Secondary Coach Dennis Thurman Thinks LaRon Landry Will Be Ready
By Alan Schechter
Sep 25, 2011; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Jets defensive backs coach Dennis Thurman during the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jets 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE
LaRon Landry has not been able to do much on the practice field for the New York Jets, thanks to injury. However, that hasn’t stopped him from learning his new team’s defense. Position coach Dennis Thurman gave him his playbook early, and feels that LaRon will be ready to go, as coverages for most defenses are similar or the same, the difference is in how they say it:
“He had his playbook and we spent time together earlier when he was here,” he said. “Like I said, the transition from one team to another, it’s not about the coverage because they’ve played the coverage before, it’s about the terminology. “But it’s also about us and how we do things just a little bit differently than most people so I don’t expect him to have any problems, he hasn’t shown he’ll have any problems and our expectations are that he’ll give us what he gave Washington only with an improvement in terms of his health and his ability to stay on the field.”
Many have questioned the additions at safety, as both Landry and Yeremiah Bell are strong safeties. The Jets haven’t added a true free safety, but really it doesn’t matter. The way the Jets defense operates, it really doesn’t separate the two. The safeties on the field have to be able to do it all, and the Jets feel they have that now with Yeremiah Bell, LaRon Landry and Eric Smith leading the way. Coach Thurman feels the question about the safety position have been answered with the two experienced free agents they signed.
As far as others that will step up in camp, Dennis feels that two guys in particular will stand out, Antonio Allen and undrafted free agent D’Anton Lynn.
Other comments that coach Thurman made at the end of camp were regarding Kyle Wilson, and how he doesn’t want Kyle to settle for a 5th defensive back role
“We didn’t draft him in the first round for him just to come here and be a Nickel,” Thurman said. “We expect Kyle to start pushing and elevating his game to start thinking and acting like a starter on the New York Jets because you never know.”
Landry and Yeremiah Bell are tougher against the pass than a lot of people give them credit for, so there is all the potential for Dennis Thurman to be right on the money in his assessment of the safety position.
Other points he made included the that Ellis Lankster is number 4 on the depth chart at corner for now, as is Josh Bush at the safety position(if Landry is healthy). Thurman loves the athleticism of his corners, and judging from minicamp, I agree.
With Jim Leonard no longer around, coach Thurman stated that Eric Smith has become the new “quarterback” of the defensive backfield.
It’s a great thing when veterans take a lead role in teaching younger players. Sometimes, you learn from your peers better than from your bosses. As long as Smith doesn’t show them how to take bad angles on running plays (see Tebow’s TD in the Denver game), the Jets will benefit from his teaching.
Anything to make the defense better can only be a positive.