It’s not often that a team loses a player to free agency and then signs his older brother to take his place. The New York Jets signed Dawan Landry to a two-year deal in April after losing his younger brother, LaRon, to the Indianapolis Colts. The Jets were left very thin at the safety position with LaRon Landry, Yeremiah Bell and Eric Smith departing, but signing Dawan was a solid move for the team.
Landry is a proven veteran safety, and better yet, he is familiar with Rex Ryan‘s defensive system. Landry played three seasons for Ryan with the Baltimore Ravens, and Ryan obviously liked what he saw from him. He isn’t known to be exceptional in pass coverage, but he plays solid against the run and makes plays when he needs to. The Jets will need solid production from Landry, who was cut by the Jacksonville Jaguars, in order to reestablish their defensive dominance in the AFC .
Landry will be valued, especially from a leadership standpoint. The Jets have gotten much younger on defense and need a veteran to take charge. Landry’s football IQ and knowledge of the system should help the younger players adjust and learn. The youth behind him at the safety position makes it imperative that he’s ready to step into a starting role, and Ryan seems to believe he will be.
“I think Dawan Landry is one of the most underrated guys in this league,” Ryan told the media.
Ryan’s optimism should be shared by the fans. If Landry lives up to his potential in the Jets’ system, he could be another key factor for the defense. But if not, maybe his younger brother was the better choice.