The NFL lockout was just one little thing in the world of Washington Redskins safety LaRon Landry. After over 135 days, the NFL owners and players got themselves together to ratify a new 10-year CBA (collective bargaining agreement). Now Landry’s personal work stoppage of 162 days will finally end July 29 when the Redskins report to camp, according to NFL.com.
This will be the first time Landry steps on the field with his burgundy and gold mates when training camp starts, due to a series of injuries—none greater than his once torn Achilles he sustained before Week 11 against the Titans in Tennessee.
Michael Lombardi of NFL.com stresses the concern for players who were injured and have been away from the game, and may have issues with passing teams’ physicals and absorbing contact.
Following a long rehab and healing progress, Landry’s confident as squats 800 pounds on his Achilles and looks forward to everything football — including passing the physical — and can’t wait to be with his teammates.
“From the last time we talked, everything has progressed, so it’s a positive,” said Landry via phone. “The Achilles and wrist are feeling great. Now since the deal is done and getting back on the field with my teammates. … I can’t wait, I’m looking forward to a great season.”
Throughout the NFL lockout, especially over the past month, Landry has taken that time to fine-tune his body to be in tip-top shape for this season. The hard-hitting Landry is focused on being a better leader and all he wanted was, similar to all the players in the league, for the new CBA deal to be done so he could return to Washington right away.
“All the things I need from the west coast are packed and I’m there,” said Landry, who is scheduled to arrive in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old safety from LSU was on his way to a career season last year before sustaining a dislocated wrist, a shoulder injury and a torn Achilles as he finished with 85 tackles, an interception, a sack and a forced fumble in nine games—with the Pro Bowl in sight and a lead in votes.
The past few months for Landry have been up and down—both mentally and physically. However, he knew what he had to do in order to be better for his teammates and himself.
“Throughout this progress, it’s been a rollercoaster and now things are starting to come around,” said Landry. “I look forward in getting back, but I had to get better, stronger. My main concern was to grow and prepare.
“I already know what I’m capable of doing and what I want to do, all I needed to do was to make it happen (recover) and everything would take care of itself.”
With shortened preparation for an NFL training camp, it will take players a good minute to get into the groove. This is something Landry is expecting: Not just for him, but for everyone.
“For the most part being as a whole, it should take me and the other guys at least a couple of days to get into that football mentality, that football physical shape, from knowing the plays to getting my footing on the field and just going through a normal practice,” said Landry. “Everything is going to be different.
“Anyone can train as hard as they want and do as many drills as they want, but when you actually have to practice for a game situation and you have to make that specific cut or that specific tackle, that’s the major difference.
“Everything has been on the fly, as far as preparing at this point,” he continued. “But everything is about reacting. From everything through the offseason to now is for those things, for those types of plays and drills. I think I will fit in quickly because I’m a little advanced (in experience), everyone will need a couple of days to get back into the mode.”
As usual, the Redskins are expected to be active in free agency, as they have been major players in acquiring big name individuals for the past few years. Landry, a man of short words, says he doesn’t worry about who the organization brings on board.
“Basically, all I look forward is to winning,” said Landry. “Whoever we get through free agency, from this draft and who we got, and of course we all will work together as a team, I just want to win and that’s what it comes down to.”
Quarterback Donovan McNabb is expected to be either released or traded as soon as the Redskins are able to conduct NFL business. McNabb’s name isn’t on teams’ hot list around the league, especially not for serious contenders. Therefore, there is a slim chance McNabb will remain a Redskin. If this were the case, according to the 34-year old Landry 13-year veteran would be welcomed.
“As far as the team, we all would welcome him (McNabb) back,” said Landry without hesitating. “He never lost our trust last year. What happened with Donovan and the coaching staff and front office is between them. But as his teammates, we back him 100 percent, no matter what.”
It unclear as to what the Redskins will do through free agency and how they will perform when it’s said and done for the 2011 season. One thing’s for sure; their defensive machine is back focused and healed, ready to take on all challenges and all challengers.
“I’ve been always so long, man, and I can’t wait to get back,” said Landry.