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Nine Years In, Dawan Landry Still Feels Blessed

Posted Aug 6, 2014

Jets Safety, 'Mentor' in the Secondary, Says, 'We Want to See Where We Stand'

Dawan Landry, entering his ninth year in the NFL, is the guy everybody in the Jets secondary seems to be looking up to. Although Landry is gearing up to play in his 115th game as a pro on opening day against the Raiders, "The Mentor," as he’s called by his teammates, isn’t immune to a few jitters come gametime.

“I get some butterflies throughout the first play,” Landry said. “It’s a surreal feeling just to be blessed to play this game each and every week. I never take this job for granted. I just love being out here with my teammates. It’s a brotherhood."

One thing Dawan certainly doesn’t take for granted are his big-bodied brothers playing on the defensive line.

“You know it’s a biased opinion, but we arguably have the best D-line in the National Football League," he said. "They are so deep, about seven or eight guys that can all get the job done. And all those guys are hungry. Big, physical, nasty D-line. When you are playing behind guys like that, they make your job so much easier.”

Landry is feeling healthy and hopeful going into the first preseason game of the 2014 season against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium on Thursday night.

“I’m excited. You know we’ve got a lot of good things accomplished out of the last two weeks with the team," he said. "It’s going to be good to go up against another opponent and not just beating up on ourselves. We want to go out there and see where we stand right now.”

In his first season with the Jets last year, Landry started all 16 games and led the team with 1,220 total plays. The Georgia Tech standout has continued to look sharp in training camp, picking off both Michael Vick and Geno Smith in recent team drills.

“I’m just going out there and playing my game, you know, and not looking at stats or anything like that. I’m just doing whatever I can to help the team win," he said. "Trying to get better each and every day, that will be good enough for me.”

Dawan spent three of his five years with the Baltimore Ravens, playing under a staff that included future Jets head coach Rex Ryan and defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman. Landry is happy to have the old Baltimore crew back together again.

“Oh, it’s a blast. We had so much fun when we were in Baltimore together when I was a younger guy,” Landry said. “To see it come back full circle like this … now I get to be a mentor to the young guys out here just like Ed Reed was to me. It’s just fun. It hasn’t changed over the years. They are still great guys. I hold them to a real high standard as just great human beings.”

Assuming little brother LaRon Landry is cleared to play for the Colts, this upcoming preseason game will mark the fifth time the Landry brothers, both safeties and both starting in each of their meetings, will have faced off as professionals.

In the days leading up to the game, the brothers have been in contact.

“We haven’t really talked about football, though,” Dawan said. “We talk about other things other than just seeing how he’s doing at camp and how’s his body holding up. Not any trash-talking or anything like that.”

So far in one regular-season NFL game and three preseason games, the Landrys are tied with two wins apiece. But no matter which Landry comes out on top in Thursday’s game, it’s already a win for parents Frank and Rhonda.

“My parents are coming in town. Usually they are there going back and forth and they try to catch whatever team is playing at home that week," Dawan said. "But this time it’s a treat they get to catch one game. It’s always a blessing when our parents get to watch both of us on one field in one day.”




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