September 15, 2012 - 11:53 pm
by Zack Kelberman
When the Redskins decided to let him walk following two injury-plagued seasons, LaRon Landry got to test the waters, attempting to find the best suitor for his services. The former first-round pick possesses plenty of talent, along with a scary, almost-inhuman amount of muscle, so his free agent interest was fairly significant.
Teams in need of a hard hitting, extremely built box safety came a callin’, including two major players, the Patriots and Jets. At the time, it was reported that the AFC East rivals were “competing” for Landry, who began making the rounds, starting in New England.
Looking back on it, he wishes he never had.
“He wasn’t even there,” Landry told Manish Mehta in a column for the New York Daily News. “So that was a no-brainer. I should have never taken that visit. I was like, ‘Damn, if you’re going to visit, the head coach (should be) there.’ I felt, ‘Okay, that’s a slap in the face.’”
Landry is referring to Pats coach Bill Belichick, the man he wanted to meet with most. After the disheartening no-show, it seemed he couldn’t wait to work out get out of Massachusetts.
As we obviously know by now, Landry went on to take his talents to New York, becoming Rex Ryan’s newest defensive toy and sorely-needed enforcer. His brother, Dawan, who played under Ryan during their time in Baltimore, was a driving force behind the move, and it sure looks like a good one. Though it’s still early, Landry has remained healthy and excelled, using his freakish combination of speed and power to level opponents. (Right, Fred Jackson?)
Landry landed in an ideal spot, but it doesn’t mean he’s dropped his feelings toward the Redskins, the team that drafted him seventh overall in 2007. The year is special for two reasons: It’s also the last time he respected that organization or its doctors, whom he implied didn’t properly treat his nagging Achilles’ tendon injury, which led to his departure.
Mike Shanahan, who coached Landry the last two seasons, tops his you-know-what list.
“That’s why they have great doctors and they have okay doctors, great trainers and okay trainers,” Landry said. “(The Redskins) had people who just had the job title, but not the passion for their job. . . . I don’t respect the training staff at all. I don’t respect the coaches over there. I don’t respect (Shanahan). I do respect Coach (Joe) Gibbs, who brought me there, and Coach Gregg Williams. I respect that 2007 organization. After 2007. . . . nonexistent.”
Unfortunately for Landry, who’s signed to a one-year deal, the Jets won’t play the Redskins again until 2015, so he’ll need to earn a new contract and … well, wait.
He does, however, get to go against his new nemesis, Belichick, twice. Win or lose, Landry will finally get that meeting.
I like him even more now.
Now watch next season he'll sign with New England.