Feature Image: Associated Press, Damian Strohmeyer
The time from now until training camp can be filled with a mix of vacations and training regiments for players and personnel, but for hardcore NFL fans it’s more of a time filled with vodka and despair.
We’ll be counting down to the June 23rd, report-to-Cortland date, by featuring current players with roster numbers that correspond with the number of days left. For days without a corresponding player, we’ll be featuring other players and maybe some surprises.
26 Days = #26 Dawan Landry
Finding professional players that just go to work are rare these days. Landry — Dawan Landry, that is — is one of those players.
After striking gold on a one-year ‘loaner’ in safety LaRon Landry, Rex Ryan went out and reunited himself with LaRon’s brother, and former Baltimore Raven, Dawan.
Quiet players don’t provide for good headlines. They also don’t help build their name recognition. Seriously, how many Jets articles even mentioned Landry during the 2013 season? That doesn’t mean he was a non-factor in his first season with the Jets. Actually, given this fanbase, that’s probably a good thing.
In 2013, Landry accumulated 100 total tackles, the third-highest total on the team. He started and played in all 16 games on the season. Landry also had one sack and one interception on the season.
As you can see by the provided table, he never had the kind of impact on any single game that earns player of the week honors, or media spotlight.
|Sacks & Tackles||Def Interceptions|
However, Landry gave the Jets experience; his pre-NYJ knowledge of Rex Ryan’s defense proved to ease his transition onto the team, while helping him serve as a mentor to the younger safeties on the roster.
Perhaps directly or indirectly, Antonio Allen was benefited by Landry’s presence.
What does the future hold?
Given Allen’s increased role in the Jets defense throughout 2013, and the drafting of Calvin Pryor — who looks to make an immediate impact — Landry’s role looks to decrease from last season. That doesn’t mean he won’t be on the field; Rex Ryan has a way of utilizing all his defensive tools, from top dog to bench rider.
Landry seems unfazed and accepting of whatever Coach Ryan has in store for him (NJ.com, June 25.)
“Whatever the coaches call, I’m just going out there and doing what I do,” he said. “They decide who plays and I’m just prepared for whatever. I know both safety spots and communicating.”
He also put on his mentor hat to speak on Pryor’s early progression.
“He’s just a smart kid. In film study, he talks a lot and makes sure he’s communicating in walk through. That’s a good thing.”
In the second season of his original two-year deal, and at the age of 31, this could be Landry’s last ride with Rex Ryan. Given the passion that players that play for the coach have shown in the past, in part-time or full-time duty, Landry should continue to be a grinder.
Whether it is spotlighted or not, Landry provides the Jets with a known, solid commodity. In today’s league of injuries and holdouts, that’s something that can never be overlooked.