Sunday’s game between the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars features two major storylines:
But maybe just as neat is the fact that Jets safety
“It’s going to be fun,” LaRon said of the matchup.
LaRon, who is almost two years younger than Dawan, has been having a terrific first season with the Green & White. After having spent the first five years of his NFL career in Washington, this year he’s second on the Jets with 79 tackles and also has two interceptions and one TD return in Week 3 at Miami.
Growing up in Louisiana, he and Dawan used to have their share of battles.
“We used to fight all day,” No. 30 said, “fight because of the competitive nature. It wasn’t the hatred part. We’re well-knit. We’re just so competitive that we both wanted to win, and whoever lost, it resolved into a fight.”
When asked who came out victorious in their prizefights as kids, the younger Landry didn’t hesitate.
“You really going to ask me that question?” he said. “Man, I don’t lose, man.”
For Jets head coach Rex Ryan, he considers himself fortunate. While he’s currently coaching LaRon, he previously had the privilege of coaching Dawan when he was the defensive coordinator in Baltimore. Dawan was a fifth-round draft selection by the Ravens in 2006 and spent the first five years of his career there.
“They’re both beautiful,” Ryan said at his news conference this morning. “They are great people, passionate guys about the game. They’re very similar that way. They’re both great teammates. They love to play the game. It’s funny just because they approach it differently.”
LaRon describes their differences this way: “I like to take a lot of risks. I’m a little bit more edgy. Sometimes I speak my mind a little bit too much. He’s more so laid back.”
These days, it’s new sledding for the brothers. In the past, when LaRon was in Washington and Dawan in nearby Baltimore, they would get together every Monday and Tuesday. That’s not possible now as both are with new teams 900 miles apart.. Sunday will be the first time they’ve seen each other since July.
Nevertheless, it won’t be the first time they’ve competed against each other as pros. In the 2007 preseason, LaRon’s rookie year, the Redskins defeated his older brother and the Ravens, 13-7, a memory that LaRon hasn’t forgotten. Washington’s Landry had four tackles in the game while Baltimore’s Landry recorded two.
“It was pretty cool,” LaRon recalled. “You know, running on and off the field, talking [stuff] like that. So it’s fun.”
They met again the following year in the regular season, Week 14 at Baltimore. While the Ravens were 24-10 winners in that contest, Dawan wasn’t in action as he was still recovering from a neck injury that kept him out all but two games that season.
This week, LaRon said he and his brother have been texting back and forth. Yet there hasn’t been any nastiness involved in their conversations.
“We may trash-talk amongst each other,” he said, “but not as far as like who’s going to win. We talk about who’s going to make the most plays.”
With both playing the same position on the field, it will be difficult for them to truly go up against each other. However it’s not an impossible task.
“I actually play gunner sometimes on special teams,” Landry said, “so I hope he jams me and I show off my speed, that he can’t catch me or he can’t touch me, which he won’t.”
Although reuniting with his sibling will certainly be special, Landry’s top goal is to exit EverBank Field with a victory. While a part of him has to miss not having his brother so close by, he is glad that both of them have always maintained high spirits. Ryan recognized that trait with Dawan back then and is proudly experiencing it with LaRon now.“I’ve had both of them,” the Jets head coach said. “Both of them are great to be around. But they are so different. Their games are a little different. He’s doing a great job out there. I think he’s definitely an impact player for them, as LaRon is for us.”