Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Time to step up: LaRon Landry
By Mike Wells
INDIANAPOLIS -- It's no secret the pressure players such as quarterback Andrew Luck and linebacker Robert Mathis are under to be at their best every week for the Indianapolis Colts. But you don't have to wonder if those players will show up to play on a week-to-week basis.
The same can't be said for some other players on the Colts' roster.
With the start of training camp less than two weeks away, we're going to take a look at a number of players who are under pressure to step up this season.
Why he needs to step up: Colts general manager Ryan Grigson gave Landry a four-year, $24 million contract in 2013. Landry led the NFL in tackles after the first two weeks of the season, but then an ankle injury shut him down for four straight weeks. He wasn't the same player once he returned from the injury. Landry ended up being a disappointment in his first season in Indianapolis. He finished with only 87 tackles and no interceptions. Landry needs to be the veteran leader in the secondary because Antoine Bethea is no longer back there playing alongside of him. And the Colts need Landry to bounce back from a poor first season in order for their inconsistent defense to improve.
What he has to do: Too often Landry went for the big hit instead of making the simple tackle. See Kansas City's Jamaal Charles' touchdown run in Week 16 and New England's LeGarrette Blount's touchdown run in the playoff game if you need further proof. Landry is used to playing in the box, but Grigson likes for both of his safeties to have range. Landry needs to show more of that.
Outlook: The Colts haven't even started training camp and Landry already has an injury problem. He missed the mandatory minicamp last month with what the Colts described as a "soft-tissue" injury. It also doesn't help Landry did not attend any of the voluntary workouts during the offseason. Grigson and coach Chuck Pagano both acknowledged it would have been good if Landry attended at least part of the workouts.
Quotable: "The thing with LaRon is and I know Chuck (Pagano) alluded to it is he's a guy that his throttle is always full-bore. He's out there in parts unknown working out. We trust him in the fact that we know he's going to go harder than anyone." -- Grigson