By Danny Cox
Name: Dawan Landry – S – #26
Weight: 212 lbs.
Hometown: Ama, LA
College: Georgia Tech
Experience: 8 years
The New York Jets have been a circus for the past few years and the media has been all over them thanks to a few big-name players.
Tim Tebow was shown the door and is now playing behind Tom Brady. Darrelle Revis is gone after multiple contract issues and the focus is no longer on him. Rex Ryan is going to have to focus on the players he has in camp and hard-nosed football that the Jets have been known for in the past.
With that being said, the veteran players are going to need to step up and show that the Jets mean business. With Revis gone, there is also a big-time hole in the secondary and a leader needs to be found. Antonio Cromartie could do it, but, honestly, it looks like it will be Dawan Landry.
The safety is new to the green and white of New York this season, and he’s going to have to make things happen quickly for a Jets team that has disappointed in recent years. Landry is going to have to lead a crop of safeties and cornerbacks that don’t have a lot of experience and need guidance.
Back in high school, Landry wasn’t even on the same side of the football that he is now. He played quarterback and even went into college to start at that same position. After being redshirted for the quarterback position at Georgia Tech, he decided he didn’t want to wait on the sidelines.
Landry switched over to strong safety in 2002, and played primarily as a backup. In his first season, he only amassed eight total tackles with four of them being solo.
Once that first season was under his belt though, Landry realized he was finally in the football position he was meant to play in. In 2003, he completely took over the role of strong safety and ended up starting the next 37 games at the position for Georgia Tech University.READ MORE: Proposed Laws Would Improve Privacy Protections For Sex Crime Victims In Illinois
In 2003, Landry recorded 85 tackles, 41 of them solo, and six for loss of yards. He also recovered two fumbles and intercepted two passes. In 2004, he posted similar numbers with 81 total tackles, three sacks, and one interception.
Once his career at Georgia Tech was over, Landry started 37 games out of 50 and he currently ranks third in school history among defensive backs with 250 tackles. Those numbers were good enough to get him drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the defensively heavy Baltimore Ravens.
Landry started off on fire right off the bat as a rookie for the Ravens. He played in all 16 games and racked up 69 total tackles, three sacks, and five interceptions. It is still seen as one of his top seasons as a pro.
Over the next few years, Landry played consistently and with great numbers, except for 2008 when he was dealing with injuries. After coming back though, he posted huge numbers in 2009 and 2010 with 89 and 111 total tackles, respectively.
After his rookie contract ran out, Landry signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars and had two great seasons with them before being released back in March 2013. Almost one month later to the day, the New York Jets swept in and signed Dawan Landry to a contract.
It’s not surprising that Dawan Landry is incredibly talented and one of the most coveted defensive players in the NFL. The football talent runs in their family. His younger brother, LaRon Landry, is currently with the Indianapolis Colts after being the highest-drafted safety in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.
Landry is far from done with his effectiveness, and he’s got a lot of time left in the game. Someone on the Jets’ brass realized that too, and they know he can bring great game-play to the team and veteran leadership to the overall defense.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.