“Dirty 30″ is on the scene at the Jets minicamp this week, only adding to the enthusiasm that the defense has been displaying.
“Yeah, they give me a hard time for not being here,” safety LaRon Landry said in front of his locker after today’s open practice at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. “You know, ‘Who’s the new guy? Who’s this guy?’ It’s all fun and games, but when it comes down to it, all the guys welcomed me with opened arms.
“I play with passion, just like the other guys, so I’m looking forward to being an addition. They already got it. I’m just trying to add to it.”
Now before we go too far, we should say that Landry, who wears No. 30 and has been called, lovingly by the Redskins, not so much by opponents, “Dirty 30,” is not practicing with the Jets yet. His heel rehab, which he underwent away from the facility for weeks, continues.
But on the other hand, the prognosis is definitely upbeat for Landry laying some beats on friends and foes this summer at training camp.
“LaRon is way ahead of where our trainers thought he’d be,” head coach Rex Ryan said this morning. “He thought it was best he work out with people who are very familiar with him, and you kind of worry about that a little bit. But it’s a real positive that he’s come back and he’s obviously done a lot of work there. You saw him running in the back of the end zone. We’ve just got to be smart the next couple of days that he doesn’t overdo things. He’s on the right track and we feel good about it.”
“I’m progressing and things are looking real well — I was kind of shocked myself,” Landry said. “I can’t wait to get back out there and be with the team.”
When the Jets signed Landry as an unrestricted free agent in March, both sides knew it might take a few months for him to get back into form. He assured reporters today that his Achilles is not the issue anymore. It’s just the heel bone that’s connected to the tendon.
“It’s more of a bone issue. The Achilles is totally healed,” he said, describing his rehab regimen of one treatment with AmnioMatrix, which is described as a “cryopreserved liquid wound covering derived from amniotic tissue and cells,” as well as “a couple of PRPs,” platelet-rich plasma transfusion that has been used not only by Landry but by Tiger Woods and other athletes to accelerate the natural healing process.
The upshot is that while he’s still not committing to a definite schedule to return to full team activity, he’s said as far as running, cutting, backpedaling and other safety stuff, “I’m doing it all. Now I’m just trying to perfect it. … Every day is a steppingstone and it’s getting better and better.”
As for the mental part of joining the Jets defense, Landry said, “I’ve had my playbook. It wasn’t like I wasn’t into it. It’s just basically getting back out there and communicating with the guys, making sure we’re on the same page. That’s the biggest key, communication, in the secondary.”
Now can Landry mesh with holdover Eric Smith and fellow recent arrival Yeremiah Bell quickly enough to combat the Gronkowski-Hernandez menace and other TE depth charts? Some observers have concerns, but Ryan feels that when they’re all healthy and humming along, they can get the job done.
“I think these guys can do a lot more than just go in there and blast you on the running game,”: Ryan said of his two experienced newcomers. “Landry, when he’s healthy, is a 4.3-something-in-the-40 type of guy. He’s got tons of God-given ability. Yeremiah gets it done — he’s as fast as he needs to be. [The Dolphins] for their situation, they felt better putting him down in the box, and that’s hard to argue with. You see the impact plays he makes. For us, we were looking for all-around safeties, and we have three right now that we feel really good about.”
And if Landry needs to bring someone up with him from back home to help with his rehab and transition and keep him company, well, he’s got the ready companion in Gucci, his pet Capuchin monkey who has been a minor social-media animal celebrity.
“These guys asked me to bring Gucci up. Yeah, I’ll definitely bring him up,” Landry said. “He’s pretty cool.”
Ryan detailed his injured and tweaked players again this morning. Not practicing besides Landry: DT Marcus Dixon, TE Brian Linthicum, WR Patrick Turner, WR Jordan White. Limited: TE Jeff Cumberland, WR DaMarcus Ganaway, WR Stephen Hill, WR Santonio Holmes, G Brandon Moore, G Matt Slauson, LB Bryan Thomas.
Rex on if Tim Tebow will get any reps ahead of Sanchez at QB in, let’s say, training camp: “We’ll see. I would think there may be a time when he does that. Right now he’ll be with the twos.” … And Rex on any Darrelle Revis contract “situation”: “Everybody knows how I feel about Darrelle. Any contract talk, that’s going to be Mike Tannenbaum’s deal. … I’m focused on coaching this football team, and that’s what I’ll do.”
With the weather cooperating this morning, today’s practice was opened to fans and 750 were in attendance, ringing the Jets’ grass field. Thursday’s practice is also open and (cross our fingers) the weather appears to be cooperating again. Gates at the Atlantic Health facility open at 10 a.m., Jets Fest and Jets Shop also open at 10, and practice begins at 11 a.m. Admission and parking are free but parking is limited and it’s standing room only at the practice.
Tags: Darrelle Revis, Eric Smith, LaRon Landry, Mark Sanchez, Rex Ryan, Tim Tebow, veteran minicamp, Yeremiah Bell
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