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WP: This Guy Could Be Faster Than a Speeding Bullet


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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/29/AR2007042901692.html

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This Guy Could Be Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

By Thomas Boswell

Monday, April 30, 2007; E01

By the time LaRon Landry, the Washington Redskins' new safety, and his older brother, Dawan, who starts at strong safety for the Ravens, were 5 and 6 years old, their father Frank knew he had to go to Wal-Mart and buy two pairs of Sugar Ray Leonard boxing gloves.

Dawan was bigger, but LaRon always initiated the fights. "When they were 3 or 4 years old, they used to battle over small things, a video game or sneakers or a shirt. When they were about 4 or 5, I said 'If y'all are going to fight, y'all fight with some boxing gloves,' " their father said.

"It was always LaRon who would do the crazy, wild things. When he was 6 or 7, I was driving with them in back of the truck. Dawan said, 'I bet you can't jump out of the truck and fly like Superman.' "

LaRon took the dare and leapt out of the moving truck. "He busted up his teeth. Had to go to the dentist," said Frank, adding with a shrug, "he was all right."

That was the age when Frank Landry -- an electrician for 31 years for Monsanto, but also a youth league football coach -- began to realize that, when it came to taking and delivering punishment, LaRon was different. "LaRon was just tough. He just took the pain. He never did cry."

Even when he flew out of the truck and landed on his mouth?

"Okay, he cried then," chuckled Frank.

Did the boys share a bedroom? "No, thank God, they didn't," he said.

Although LaRon Landry is probably 100 pounds smaller than the No. 1 draft pick that the Redskins ideally need, he may become a memorable and excellent Redskin. He's definitely not what the team needs most -- a pass-rushing defensive lineman. Or two. And his hard-hitting skills almost duplicate the team's other safety, Sean Taylor. So, the entire NFL seems to be having a field day mocking the high-spending Redskins for another rock-head personnel decision. Maybe they're right. Maybe the Redskins should have traded their first pick for a veteran and a pick, or for multiple picks. Maybe they should have used it on 317-pound defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, who graduated from Louisville at 19 and was taken 10th overall by the Texans.

Maybe, maybe, maybe. Since the current Redskins decision-makers have lost much of the benefit of the doubt within their league, Landry will be looked at not only for his play but for the voids that are left by picking him -- at other positions and in salary cap. Even Coach Joe Gibbs has acknowledged, "The sixth pick in the country is somebody who, to be truthful, a big part of the salary cap will go to this season." So why spend it on Landry, who joins fellow defensive backs Shawn Springs, Carlos Rogers and Taylor as top-10 overall draft picks?

With a defense that (let this sink in again) forced the fewest turnovers in NFL history, why wouldn't you add talent up front?

But that isn't LaRon Landry's problem. He didn't sign Adam Archuleta and all the other burgundy-and-gold blunders. Landry just showed up, all 6 feet 2, 205 pounds of 4.37-second 40-yard dash sledgehammer, saying: "I'm the complete package. . . . I just give 110 percent effort. I have a very great mind-set, an educated mind for the game. I'm a student of the game and I try to get other guys to match my intensity. I lead by example. I'm not really a talker. I lead by example and try to get other guys to get on the same page as me."

Sometimes, first impressions mean a lot, especially with Redskins draft picks. When Desmond Howard came to Redskins Park, the buzz was, "He's so little." And he played wide receiver that way, unable to escape the line of scrimmage. The first time Heath Shuler spoke, he seemed so methodical. Did he have the specific type of mental quickness -- instant recognition, take everything in in a glance -- needed in an NFL quarterback? Now, he's coming to Congress. There are different kinds of smart.

Landry's first impression was so self-assured, candid, yet consistent with his rookie status, that Gibbs simply sat beside him and couldn't hide his delight, especially when he said that his father was "a coach who'd rip your head off."

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Are the rest of the league really laughing?

I figured it was the best move they had available, if no one was offering to trade down. Obviously the 7th-10th picks had the same problems, and it would have looked more foolish to leave Landry on the board.

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Are the rest of the league really laughing?

I figured it was the best move they had available, if no one was offering to trade down. Obviously the 7th-10th picks had the same problems, and it would have looked more foolish to leave Landry on the board.

Huh? No one is laughing. If anything the Falcons are a little miffed that we took their guy. :laugh:

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Huh? No one is laughing. If anything the Falcons are a little miffed that we took their guy. :laugh:

Well if you read the article, the writer says the rest of the league is laughing, so I'm wondering if the writer is just an idiot who uses hyperbole to make a fake point so he can argue against it.

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The Redskins do not emphasize the distinction between strong safety and weak safety. More often, Gregg Williams's defenses emphasize one safety who is "in the box" while another is playing "center field." Last year, Taylor fared better at the former than the latter, where he frequently was a step late on deep passes or took overly aggressive angles and whiffed on big hits. Now that Archuleta is gone, Landry may move fairly quickly into a role where opponents don't know, until the last second, which high-impact Redskins safety is threatening to blitz and which has deep responsibility.

This is what excites me the most. Gregg Williams is at his best when he is able to dial up exotic blitzes and design plays that a quarterback has never seen before. With two such incredibly talented pro-bowl level safeties now, he will have an advantage over every other defensive coordinator in the league in that regard. In comparison to 2004 and 2005, we rarely blitzed and when we did, they weren't very creative nor effective.

Adding Laron Landry gives Gregg Williams another fancy tool to work with. We've proven in games last year against the Saints and Panthers that we CAN stop the run and that we CAN pressure the passer. And adding someone as talented as Landry to slot in next to Taylor should only help him, in terms of comfort levels in not needing to cover for his less-talented partner.

Regardless of whether or not we should have drafted a defensive lineman, Laron Landry will make this defense immensely better than it was a year prior (not to mention the addition of Smoot, Fletcher, Macklin, McIntosh, a healthy Griffin/Washington, improvement from Golston/Montgomery, etc. etc. etc.)

Things are looking good, you just might not be able to see it yet

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Well, when I see them show a shot during a Redskins/Cowboys game of the Cowboys sidelines and a terrified and crying T.O. telling Jerry Jones he will not go back into the game because, "Those two safeties are gonna kill me if I do", then I will do this: :D

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Well, the question is, would any other player have been worth the investment of money? Do you give it to a D-Lineman that you feel has holes in his game?

One could also say that, when you have as few picks that we have, you have to make sure the pick counts, even if it doesn't meet your greatest need.

Jason

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Gotta love the first impressions of Landry.

No surprise with the general take on need vs. BPA.

But mostly, worth the read for this alone:

Sometimes, first impressions mean a lot, especially with Redskins draft picks. When Desmond Howard came to Redskins Park, the buzz was, "He's so little." And he played wide receiver that way, unable to escape the line of scrimmage. The first time Heath Shuler spoke, he seemed so methodical. Did he have the specific type of mental quickness -- instant recognition, take everything in in a glance -- needed in an NFL quarterback? Now, he's coming to Congress. There are different kinds of smart.

Nice, Boz. :)

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The Redskins do not emphasize the distinction between strong safety and weak safety. More often, Gregg Williams's defenses emphasize one safety who is "in the box" while another is playing "center field."

I think Taylor might have a few words to say to Boswell after being called a "weak safety" :laugh:.

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"It was always LaRon who would do the crazy, wild things. When he was 6 or 7, I was driving with them in back of the truck. Dawan said, 'I bet you can't jump out of the truck and fly like Superman.' "

LaRon took the dare and leapt out of the moving truck. "He busted up his teeth. Had to go to the dentist," said Frank, adding with a shrug, "he was all right.

I have a feeling that Sean Taylor and LaRonare going to be good buddies. :laugh:

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I have a feeling that Sean Taylor and LaRonare going to be good buddies. :laugh:

Ryan Clark and Landry are Alumni, I'm sure they know each other too. All good in the neighborhood.

BTW, I also have absorbed this draft coverage en masse and have heard nothing about mocking the skins - more comparisons to the Ravens who draft the safest most talented player no matter what, and how the Redskins did the same - AND didn't trade picks, holes weren't getting filled, but we can only be happy that next year will bring more options.

Plus we can always trade a 3rd or something for a DT down the line this summer if one c comes available.

Laron was by FAR the most talented defensive player in this draft, and his potential is up there, just behind Okoye, hardly a joking matter...

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i didnt really hear any talk of making fun of any teams from the tv media... there was no 'texans moment' with mario williams or anything where people really doubted a pick. even the miami pick was pretty much just a surprise. no one really criticized them at all.

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all 6 feet 2, 205 pounds of 4.37-second 40-yard dash sledgehammer, saying: "I'm the complete package. . . . I just give 110 percent effort.

they must not teach math down there at LSU.... Otherwise he would know that 110% is physically impossible.... When you compete at "110%" it is 100% and then 100% is 90.9% (don't quote me on the math) therefore when you run at 110% you are actually hurting yourself when you aren't running at 110%

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they must not teach math down there at LSU.... Otherwise he would know that 110% is physically impossible.... When you compete at "110%" it is 100% and then 100% is 90.9% (don't quote me on the math) therefore when you run at 110% you are actually hurting yourself when you aren't running at 110%

does your brain hurt now after posting this :laugh:

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I think this is a very readable piece. Not surprising it was done by a Post writer who dates to the days of really good sports reporting. Boswell actually writes a column with quotes. He makes a comment about the Redskins front office losing the benefit of the doubt with some in the league, and he does so without it coming off as a snide, unnecessary remark, made to be gratuitous remark. Good read for sure.

It's a novel approach to spend time telling us about the player we signed and having the history of knowledge to relate it to past players. The remaining Post articles will be quoteless "news" reporting evaluating unnamed sources throughout the league rejecting the Redskins contention they had coverage problems last year and informing us how much smarter the writer is than anyone else.

I'd rather read this. It's informative, interesting, fun, endearing, timely and honest without being hateful.

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Well, when I see them show a shot during a Redskins/Cowboys game of the Cowboys sidelines and a terrified and crying T.O. telling Jerry Jones he will not go back into the game because, "Those two safeties are gonna kill me if I do", then I will do this: :D

you know i thought about that the other day. i was thinking that if t.o. complained that sean taylor broke his finger then just imagine what taylor and laron would to to him. i got all warm and fuzzy inside...:laugh:

:helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet: :helmet:

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they must not teach math down there at LSU.... Otherwise he would know that 110% is physically impossible.... When you compete at "110%" it is 100% and then 100% is 90.9% (don't quote me on the math) therefore when you run at 110% you are actually hurting yourself when you aren't running at 110%

Yo, but his dad did say to Laron that he's gotta stop playing at such a hard level i.e...110% but Laron just said "I cant cuz thats when u get hurt"!

He's gonna be a BEAST!

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Personally, I would have taken Okoye. Chart or no chart, the difference between top ten talent is all gueswork in my opinion. But I'm smart enough to know that I don't know everything and my guess could be wrong.

Landry and Taylor could be one hell of a duo in a scheme like ours where the two safetys play the same roll. They could cause a lot of confusion. Last year teams seemed to instruct their QBs to throw to whatever reciever was not covered by Taylor or go to a run when Taylor was out of the box. This year they won't be able to key on that one guy. That could be really good for us. But I still hope we can find at least one guy who can help our D line stuff the run and pressure the QB.

:2cents:

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