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Landry: Mixing and Matching Free, Strong Safety

From Jason Reid:

Defensive coordinator Greg Blache had an aggressive game plan in last week's stunning loss to the formerly winless St. Louis Rams. But despite Blache having instructed rookie safeties Chris Horton and Kareem Moore to blitz often, those calls did not produce sacks (cornerback Shawn Springs had one of Washington's two sacks).

While playing strong safety in his rookie season, second-year free safety LaRon Landry excelled at applying pressure on quarterbacks. He only had 1½ sacks, but Landry often disrupted the timing of quarterbacks, prompting them to throw before they would have preferred.


With third-year player Reed Doughty, who plays both safety positions, sidelined for the remainder of the year because of a back problem, Landry has volunteered to play up front again occasionally.

Landry last week had conversations with safeties coach Steve Jackson about "trying to mix it up a little bit," Landry said. "For the most part, I try to stay in the middle of the field so that we don't give away no deep balls, but coach Jackson and I have talked about mixing and matching the free and strong positions.

"Now, it's going to take some work at practice. We'd have to do some things to make it work, so I don't know when we'd do it. And I know he just doesn't want to put me out there like that again unless we've had that time to get it all worked out."

Following the death of Sean Taylor, Landry, who played both safety positions as an all-American at Louisiana State, moved to free safety in the last few weeks of the 2007 season.

Opponents were reluctant to challenge Washington with deep balls down the stretch, in part because of Landry' s range and hitting ability. By the end of the season, Landry, who had two interceptions in a 35-14 playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, was being compared favorably to Taylor.

Despite Landry's willingness to work at both safety spots, that would not be a good idea at this time, Jackson said. "It's not fair to him right now," he said. "The thing about Sean was that Sean was in his fourth year. It took him that long to become an accountable producer every week. Sean would always show those flashes.

"He would make a big play this week, hit a guy next week, but he'd give up one here, miss a couple of tackles there. It just wasn't always as consistent as it was last year. But by last year, we all know the stories of how everything changed with Sean. Once it did, we could do anything with him. We haven't gotten to that point yet with LaRon."

By Cindy Boren  |  October 17, 2008; 3:30 PM ET
 
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Next: Warning: You Might Miss Kickoff

Comments

Not a bad tactic. Although it's bore of desperation.

Posted by: Gweez | October 17, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Area 51

Posted by: Stu27 | October 17, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Can people please stop teeing off on Kelly until we've seen what he can do?! He's f-ing injured for crying out loud. Or do you think he's trying to wangle retirement in his first year? You deacons (as in Joey).

Having said that, who do you think would win a cage fight between him and Springs?

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | October 17, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Alex, the overwhelming message I've heard on Alexander the last few days has been that when discussing him, the words "pass blocking" and "threat" should not be used in the same sentance.

His knowing the coaches is undoubtedly a point in his favor, but not his pass-blocking.

Posted by: redskirt_ | October 17, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: redskirt_ | October 17, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

RIP #21

Posted by: TheTruth11 | October 17, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I've never seen a player in my life fly around the field with anything like Sean Taylor's combination of fluid ease and jaw-dropping explosiveness. No, he didn't make every play, but even in his rookie season when he was very up-and-down, it was still clear that he was a freak of nature out there. I love LaRon Landry, but he's not going to be Sean Taylor 2.0, and I'm glad Steve Jackson isn't in a big rush to force him to be. Landry's game is different, and it'll take time, as it did with Taylor, for him to fully harness his skills.

Posted by: manalive | October 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Ravens could block start of 'Skins game for D.C. viewers
NFL tells WUSA it must air finale of Baltimore-Miami if 'outcome is not certain'
By Jeff Barker | jeff.barker@baltsun.com
1:29 PM EDT, October 17, 2008
WASHINGTON

Hundreds of thousands of Washington Redskins fans could miss the opening of their team's 4:15 game Sunday because the local CBS affiliate must televise the earlier-starting Ravens game in its entirety if the game remains close.

It's a unusual scenario -- the Ravens potentially pre-empting the larger-market Redskins on their own turf -- that has Redskins fans aghast.

"Can you believe it?" one Redskins fan wrote on EXTREMESKINS.com, a team-owned chat board. "The Ravens need to lose early and fast," another fan wrote.

WUSA-TV, Washington's CBS affiliate, says it knows exactly what will happen if Redskins fans tune in for the kickoff against the Cleveland Browns and instead find the end of the Ravens at Miami Dolphins game, which starts at 1 p.m and is available in Baltimore on WJZ- 13.

"They'll go nuts," said Allan Horlick, WUSA's general manager.

But WUSA says it's bound by NFL rules. And the league isn't budging.


SOMBODY EMAIL FLORIO SO HE CAN RANT AGAINST IT AND THE NFL CAN CHANGE IT'S TUNE. I don't like Florio's opinion but the NFL seems to pay attention to his website.......

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 17, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

4th, because were over.500
Posted by: alex35332 | October 17, 2008 3:29 PM |

This is the answer I was looking for. Thanks!

Also, this dude can't block. My stance on SA37 remains the same (soft) until I'm proven wrong. But since he's own our team, I'm willing to look the other way (for now).......

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 17, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one that cringes when Sean Taylor comes up in this context? He's gone and all the wistful thoughts about what was or what could have been just leave me cold.

I appreciate Sean Taylor for what he was as a player and what he had become as a person. He left a genuinely special legacy.

But its 2008 and it is this Redskins team, with this specific group of guys that takes the field. One of the things that makes any team great is their ability to focus on what is right in front of them. Not looking ahead, not looking back, but focus on what is needed in the moment.

Godspeed to Sean Taylor and his family, but can we let these current players be given the chance to be great on their own merit, instead of living in Sean's shadow?

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 17, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Re-post...

A little news to laugh on a slow Friday thanks to jerruh and the girls!


COWBOYS GETTING FINED FOR PACMAN SUSPENSION
Posted by Mike Florio on October 17, 2008, 3:17 p.m. EDT

That sound you hear off in the distance is Jerry Jones’ head exploding.

Per Adam Schefter of NFLN, the Cowboys will be fined up to $200,000 for the suspension of Pacman Jones.

Specifically, the Cowboys will pay Pacman’s salary — $20,588 per game — to the league for each game of his suspension. The penalty applies even if the Cowboys release Jones.

Jones’ base salary for 2008 is $700,000. This translates to a rate of $41,176 per game, which means that the fine represents 50 percent of the pay Jones would have received but for the suspension.

The fine is the result of a previously unknown (at least by us) rule that became effective on August 1. For the first player suspended on a given team during a given league year, no fine applies. For the second player suspended, a portion of the player’s salary is paid as a fine.

The amount of the fine is capped at $200,000 to $500,000 per suspension.

The new fine procedure applies to suspensions under the Personal Conduct Policy, the substance-abuse policy, and the policy regarding anabolic steroids and related substances.

Because Cowboys receiver Mike Jefferson was suspended four games for violating the steroids policy, Jones’ suspension triggers the new policy.

It’s unclear whether this rule supersedes the provision effective as of June 1, which makes teams subject to fines for suspensions arising under the Personal Conduct Policy, presumably without regard to whether it was a team’s first or second suspended player of a given league year.

Posted by: Skins930 | October 17, 2008 3:33 PM

Posted by: Skins930 | October 17, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Can people please stop teeing off on Kelly until we've seen what he can do?! He's f-ing injured for crying out loud. Or do you think he's trying to wangle retirement in his first year? You deacons (as in Joey).

Having said that, who do you think would win a cage fight between him and Springs?

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | October 17, 2008 3:39 PM

Michael Westbrook.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | October 17, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Man...Taylor and Landry together for many years. Still comes to mind, every game. How great would they have been together. Miss you every Sunday, 21.

Posted by: EpsteinsMothersDoctor | October 17, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

4th, Florio already posted on it....

LaRon isnt Taylor, obviously....so lets just let Laron be LaRon....which can be a very special player with his own unoque talents, abilities and flaws. Comparing them is lame.

Posted by: chrislarry | October 17, 2008 3:48 PM | Report abuse

LH - Just shoot an email over your way.......

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 17, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

I will talk about Sean and explain to those that didnt get to see him as much and as often as i did any and everytime his name comes. He was to special to not be talked about and all should know the greatness he possesed.

Posted by: Stu27 | October 17, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

We need to give Horton more time to show what he can do. End of this season we will think of him like we did LL early last year, and so forth.

Posted by: alex35332 | October 17, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

One of the things about strong and free safety. I'm not as sure how that is divided anymore. When I started watching football, the strong side was the side with the tight end. Typically, there was a FB and a tailback. One side of the ball had a WR and a TE, the other side had just one WR (called flanker and split end, but that's just my age). The CBs lines up against the 2 WRs and the strong safety was responsible for the TE. The free safety had no defined responsibility, hence the name, 'free safety'.

Today, there are so many formations that I think the concept of a strong side has probably changed. With defenses like cover-2 where one guy gets the left and the other guy gets the right side, its not as clear to me what the differences are.

So if anyone has a more updated understanding of the difference between strong safety and free safety, let me know.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 17, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

But since he's own our team, I'm willing to look the other way (for now).......

Posted by: 4thFloor | October 17, 2008 3:43 PM

OK then, now cough.

I've been wanting to hear about what's going on in Landry's mind this whole off-season. I can't imagine that there would have been anyone else on the team affected by his loss on so many different levels. I was thinking some of Landry's off-season no-showing must have been related to the grieving process.

Though I know he's focusing on developing as a player and at his position, I don't recall seeing as much lust for mayhem from Landry so far this season.

Posted by: dcsween | October 17, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Yep. We were lucky to have ST at all, now let's move on - we'll never be the same team without him, but he's left a spirit in his leaving. Let Laron be himself.

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | October 17, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"I've had the big games and the big years," Alexander said. "Now I just want to help this team win a Super Bowl."

I have my doubts abouts his toughness in the tackle and also blocking, but I do think Alexander is relatively ego-less (at least in the general scheme of the NFL) and will have something to prove in his last pro gig

Posted by: mikeysuperdons | October 17, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

sween- Wondering if that could be related to the Blache tweaks to the defense. More man to man from the CBs leaving less mayhem to be lusted for?

Posted by: 4-12 | October 17, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

watching Blache's defense, it seems to be very fundamentally talented. I recall watching GB in its Super Bowl run in the '90's and thinking "Jeez, these guys never miss a tackle".

I think this Skins defense is a bit like that. They seem to be in position, not give up a lot of extra yards and make few mistakes. They focus on shutting down the run and cover guys well. They are never badly fooled by draws, screens and other misdirection plays.

I may not sound sexy to say this, but this Skins defense is good because it is fundamentally sound and disciplined.

I think those two description also apply to Laron Landry -- fundamentally sound and disciplined. Which is a very good thing.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 17, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

beep beep

Posted by: dcsween | October 17, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Love the cage fight hypothetical mikey. I'd go with Springs. Savvy veteran would use his experience. But both would need a wheelchair after 2 rounds.

I agree that it is still painful to talk about 21...but I also agree with Stu that to not do so would dishonor his memory. He should be talked about for all time, both as a great player, a guy that had turned his life around, and what could've been.

HTTR

Posted by: Notorious_LMG | October 17, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I may not sound sexy to say this, but this Skins defense is good because it is fundamentally sound and disciplined.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | October 17, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

TMQ made a similar point last week (and this week said Blache got away from some of that "funadmental" style in the Rams game)

About LL, I've missed too many games this season to be able to speak about his lust for mayhem, but I certainly hope losing ST didn't zap the fun out of his game.

I understand the pointlessness of comparing them, but I also remember feeling like he'd probably have a shorter "growing up" period than Sean had. Which can only be a good thing for us.

Posted by: redskirt_ | October 17, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

THESE PLAYERS NEED TO PLAY FOR SEAN TAYLOR..AND REMEMBER HOW SEAN PLAYED THE GAME..CLINTON P IS PLAYIN FOR SEAN AND LOOK WHAT KIND OF YEAR HE IS HAVING! IM ASSUMING THERE PLAYING FOR SEAN BUT IF THEY ARE NOT..THEN GET THE F*** OUTTA WASHINGTON AND GO TO ANOTHER TEAM..LONG LIVE THE MEAST, RIP SEAN! #21

Posted by: ripmeast21 | October 17, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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