The Jets have received plenty of criticism for a number of their offseason moves, but the club made a hell of a free agent acquisition on March 20th when they signed S LaRon Landry.
"It's been a great experience. I was looking forward to coming here," Landry told me on "Jets Talk LIVE" this week. "I've always been a fan of Coach Rex due to my brother (Dawan) playing for him in Baltimore. Getting here was kind of a no-brainer and up until now, it's been a great ride."
After being limited to 17 games the previous two seasons in Washington, Landry has started all 11 games for the Jets and his 89 tackles rank second on the team. He has collected a career-high four forced fumbles and Landry also scored in a Week 3 win in Miami, returning an interception 18 yards to the end zone.
"I'm my worst critic, so no matter how many plays I make I'm always like I could have done better," he said. "I'm a perfectionist."
Many doubted whether Landry could return to form. In the spring, he maintained that his Achilles was totally healed and that his concern was just the heel bone connected to the tendon. After starting training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP), Landry was placed on a practice pitch count in the summer and he has thrived in his new environment.
"Those two years was kind of a roller coaster," he said of his final seasons with the 'Skins. "It was pretty tough for me, but to overcome adversity and to know what I can do when I'm healthy — I'm just trying to prove it. With the help of the medical staff here and the organization, they've done a great job. It enables me to perform at a high level week-in and week-out."
Landry, who affectionately refers to Jets head medical trainer John Mellody as "J-Mel," has become a fan favorite with his bruising play. The 6'0", 220-pounder lives for the collision and he has no brakes.
"It comes with an attitude man. You got to want to hit — not just be a tackler," he said. "I don't know how to explain it. It's just all a part of my makeup, just the attitude. It's how physical I am."
After the Jets matchup with the Cardinals, the Green & White will travel down south to face Dawan Landry's Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 14. The 28-year-old LaRon hopes he and his soon to be 30-year-old big brother can have an in-game moment to exchange greetings.
"We both play safety, so hopefully I can see him on special teams," he said. "And I'm going to give it to him a little bit."
When the two brothers grew up in New Orleans, LA, they often settled their differences with fisticuffs.
"We still battle to this day. It was real competitive background," he said. "I'm the youngest of two, so yeah it was pretty competitive. The boxing gloves came out a lot of times. We got into a fuss or argument — we're pulling out the boxing gloves."
Hitman Readies for the 'Zona Run
The Cards could start four rookies on offense Sunday including QB Ryan Lindley and Rich Orhnberger is in line to start his first NFL game at center. * *After Lindley threw four interceptions (two were returned for scores) against the Rams, David Harris anticipates the visitors keeping the ball on the ground."You have to stop the run," said the Hitman during his JTL appearance. "They have a rookie quarterback, so they are going to try to keep the game plan conservative — run, run, run and play action. We have to do a good job of stopping the run first and not give up big plays in the passing game."
If the Jets defense shuts down Beanie Wells and the Cards' 30th ranked rush offense, then they'll put themselves in favorable third-down situations against Lindley. The Jets have just 17 sacks through 11 games and are allowing teams to convert 45.8% of the time on third-down, but the Cards rank last in the league in both sacks allowed (46) and third-down efficiency (28.4).
"I don't think this year we've been as good against the run. When you can't stop the run, you obviously face more running plays after that," Harris told me. "I just think that's a small part of it. I really don't understand why we can't get to the quarterback a lot. I guess there are a lot of three-step drops and the quarterback is getting the ball out of his hand real quick, but it's something we're working on and we're trying to get it fixed."