I only seem to find myself talking to LaRon Landry about things that do not make him happy. Getting run over by Brandon Jacobs, for example. So I was actually kind of excited today — even though the team lost a heartbreaker in Dallas — to be able to finally ask Landry about one of the best games I’ve seen him play. The stat line wasn’t that remarkable, just two tackles and three assists per NFL.com, but he was breaking up passes all over the field.
Landry, on the other hand, didn’t see quite so much reason for enthusiasm.
“I felt good out there,” he said, but continued, “I ain’t gonna say it was my best game, but I felt good out there. But the bigger picture is we lost. I don’t give a [darn] how I played, how the defense, offense, special teams did. At the end of the day, we lost. And no matter how we played, it wasn’t good enough.”
This, Landry quite rightly pointed out, is what he SHOULD be doing. “That was my job, man,” he said. “I mean, to make plays and tackles, interceptions, pass deflections, whatever. I mean, that’s every defender’s job. So yesterday I just did my job.”
One thing that Landry was willing to take a little pride in, though, was his effect on Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams. I danced around Williams’ reaction a little bit, not wanting to be overly presumptuous. He was, I suggested, um, a little —
“Scared,” Landry said flatly. “Yeah. I know he was. Y’all can quote it, too. Y’all can tell him right now, tell him I’m sayin’ it. I can say it right now: yeah, he was scared, I think. I told him he was scared.”
And what did Williams say when Landry called him scared? “Nothing,” Landry said.
(A reporter pointed out that Williams would be here in a few weeks, and Landry chuckled. “I don’t care,” he said. “What’s that gonna do?”)
“Certain pass concepts they had,” Landry continued, by way of explaining how he knew Williams was scared. “Certain routes he ran, you could tell he didn’t want any part of it.”
But even this — even inspiring enough fear in a wide receiver that FOX showed a lowlights package of Williams short-arming passes as Landry approached — didn’t bring Landry all that much happiness. “Like I said,” he said, shrugging, “that’s my job. I mean, I’m just doing my job. I’m not going out there and saying I’m tryin’ to make EVERY wide receiver scared of me. I mean, that’s the mentality I might have within myself — but sometimes it comes out with a little trash talking or whatever — but that’s my job. That’s what I’m back there to do as a safety: make plays, make big hits and interceptions.”
And since it wouldn’t be a conversation with Landry for me if I didn’t feel compelled to ask him about something negative, I also asked about the trash talking, and the celebrating after every play that keeps Landry constantly on the verge of a fifteen-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
To his credit, he immediately saw where the question was going, started laughing before I was even done, and acknowledged that he needs to keep himself in check better. “That’s just playin’ with passion, man,” he said. “Just having passion for the game. I mean, that’s something that … just … you gotta catch hold of yourself. It just comes with passion, man. You’ve got love for the game, it just comes out.”
UPDATE: The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a great picture of Landry and a frightened Roy Williams here.
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