For the second time this season, it’ll be a family affair for a New York Jets defensive back this weekend.
A month ago, defensive back Isaiah Trufant got to face off with his brother Marcus for the first time in their respective NFL careers, when the Jets went west to Washington state to play the Seattle Seahawks.
This week, the Jets are staying on the east coast, but they’re heading down to the Sunshine State to face the Jacksonville Jaguars, where Jets safety LaRon Landry will get to face older brother Dawan for the first time.
“It’s going to be fun,” LaRon said, of the first ever matchup between the Landry brothers in regular season action.
Dawan Landry, a seventh-year safety who turns 30 later this month, played his first five NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, who drafted him in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
There is some familiarity among the Jets coaches, too. Dawan played his first three seasons with the Ravens under the tutelage of current Jets head coach Rex Ryan, who was Baltimore’s defensive coordinator at the time.
Meanwhile, the 28-year-old LaRon Landry has become a Ryan favorite, and he talked this week about what it’s been like to coach both of the Landry brothers during his NFL coaching career.
“They are great people,” Ryan said. “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.”
Jets defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, who was the Ravens’ outside linebackers coach when Dawan was on the team, agreed with Ryan that the two brothers are similar, but different, at the same time.
“[LaRon is] very unique,” Pettine said. “Dawan … is the exact opposite. He was very quiet, never said a word. You’d never know he was in the meeting half the time. Whereas, you know LaRon’s in the meeting, I’ll put it that way.”
“Growing up, we always had a competitive streak,” LaRon said. “Always fighting, we both hate to lose. I’ve always been the daredevil, the edgy type. [Dawan] was always the grounded one.”
Both of the Landry brothers are having strong seasons for their respective teams. In his first season in New York, LaRon has 79 tackles for the Jets, good for second on the team. Dawan is on pace for a career-high with the Jags.
“Both of them are great to be around,” Ryan said. “But they are so different. Their games are a little different. [Dawan’s] doing a great job out there. I think he’s definitely an impact player for them, as LaRon is for us.”
Dawan was asked this week if he could ever envision the two of them being teammates someday, working together side-by-side in the same secondary as part of an all-Landry safety tandem.
“It probably would [work],” Dawan said. “You know it’d be a lot of communicating. Knowing me and him it’d be a lot fussing and fighting going on you know we’re always disagreeing on things.”
LaRon reminisced about their days growing up in Louisiana, when the brothers competed over everything.
“We used to fight all day,” LaRon said. “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 [no matter what], and whoever lost, it [resulted in] a fight.”
When asked by a reporter this week if LaRon came out on top in those battles, he didn’t miss a beat.
“You really going to ask me that question?” he said. “Man, I don’t lose, man.”
LaRon Landry will hope that his brotherly reunion goes better than Isaiah Trufant’s reunion did back in Week 10.
The Jets lost to the Seahawks 28-7, and to add injury to insult, Isaiah suffered a season-ending knee injury that day.
The 2-10 Jaguars shouldn’t be that much of a threat, however. Their home field atmosphere is nowhere near Seattle’s “12th man” effect. The Jets will have to take care of business. LaRon Landry wouldn’t have it any other way.