Today is the hottest day of the year in North Jersey so far, but Dennis Landolt doesn’t mind sweating his way toward August. Another year, another chance for him to make the big roster.
“It’s the best job you can get,” Landolt, the Jets’ still technically first-year tackle, told me at the close of the full-squad minicamp earlier this month. “You’re playing football, you’re making money, you’re with your friends, so you can’t beat it. You’ve got to try to stay at it as long as you can.”
Landolt’s been doing just that. He’s a first-year man because he’s never made it to any team’s active game roster. Yet he’s starting his fourth summer in an NFL uniform, and his fourth season all or in part with the Jets. Here’s how his NFL résumé has unfolded:
April 25, 2010 — Signed by Giants as undrafted free agent.
Sept. 4, 2010 — Final cut by Giants.
Sept. 15, 2010 — Signed by Giants to practice squad.
Oct. 19, 2010 — Released by Giants from practice squad.
Dec. 21, 2010 — Signed by 49ers to practice squad.
Jan. 12, 2011 — Signed by Jets to practice squad.
Jan. 26, 2011 — Signed by Jets to reserve/future contract.
Sept. 2, 2011 — Final cut by Jets.
Sept. 5, 2011 — Signed by Saints to practice squad.
Oct. 1, 2011 — Released by Saints from practice squad.
Oct. 5, 2011 — Signed by Jets to practice squad.
Oct. 18, 2011 — Released by Jets from practice squad.
Oct. 31, 2011 — Signed by Jets to practice squad.
Jan. 2, 2012 — Signed by Jets to reserve/future contract.
September 2012 — Makes Jets’ 53-man roster, inactive for first 3 games with knee injury. (Not enough time on the roster to get him a year of NFL experience.)
Sept. 24, 2012 — Released by Jets from 53-man roster.
Sept. 27, 2012 — Signed by Jets to practice squad.
Oct. 30, 2012 — Released by Jets from practice squad.
Nov. 28, 2012 — Signed by Jets to practice squad.
Dec. 31, 2012 — Signed by Jets to reserve/future contract.
For those scoring at home, that’s four offseason deals, two final cuts, eight practice-squad signings, four practice-squad releases, and three games inactive on a 53-man roster.
That timeline is a testament to Landolt’s never-give-up attitude. It also speaks to his pedigree — All-Big Ten first-teamer, All-America third-teamer as a Nittany Lions senior in ’09 — as well as to his family tree — older brother Kevin Landolt, a defensive tackle out of West Virginia, was the Jaguars’ fourth-round pick in 1999 — and to a number of coaching staffs saying, yeah, OK, let’s bring the big guy from Penn State in for training camp or for the P-squad.
And maybe this July 26, the start of Jets training camp, will be the summer Dennis’ career catches fire.
“Yeah, I think there’s an opportunity here. I think there’s always an opportunity for me,” said the 6’4″, 306-pounder, who was getting second-team reps during the minicamp earlier this month. “That’s the one thing about training camp. You can win yourself a spot.”
He also likes OC Marty Mornhinweg’s West Coast offense as far as it concerns his position.
“You’ve got some new stuff to learn, but I think everybody likes the new offense,” he said. “Marty’s a great coach and it’s exciting and it’s fun to do.”
What might be worth a glance up at SUNY Cortland beginning late next month is to take a timeout from watching the QBs, the RBs or the DBs and seeing how No. 76 is faring in his battle along the O-line. You know Landolt will be in there as long as he can.
Tags: 49ers, Dennis Landolt, Giants, Jets, Kevin Landolt, Saints
Posted in Randy Lange | 12 Comments »