Rookie Landry Is Making Big Plays, and a Few Big Mistakes

By Jason Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 17, 2007

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Dec. 16 -- Late in the second quarter of the Washington Redskins' 22-10 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night at Giants Stadium, Redskins rookie safety LaRon Landry made a great play to break up a pass from Giants quarterback Eli Manning to wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

Landry timed his hit just right as Burress caught a deep pass down the left sideline on third down, knocking the ball out of Burress's hands for an incompletion.

But before walking away and celebrating with his teammates, Landry stood over Burress and taunted him. The officials noticed.

Landry was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty. Instead of punting, the Giants got a first down on the penalty, retained possession of the ball, and Lawrence Tynes kicked a 35-yard field goal to cap the drive.

"You love his intensity; he just has to understand the rules as far as how the NFL is," middle linebacker London Fletcher said. "They really crack down on that taunting. It was a great play that he made, hitting the ball out of the receiver's hands, but the league really doesn't want you to taunt."

After the penalty, veteran cornerback Shawn Springs grabbed Landry and told him to refocus.

"I told him to keep his intensity up," Springs said, "and just be smart."

Gregg Williams, assistant head coach-defense, and Jerry Gray, secondary-cornerbacks coach, have repeatedly counseled Landry on the importance of avoiding penalties on third down. In a 23-20 overtime victory over the New York Jets on Nov. 4, Landry had a roughing-the-passer penalty on a third-down play in the first quarter, prolonging a drive that led to a field goal.

"I didn't say anything to LaRon about the one tonight," Fletcher said. "But I'm sure Gregg probably said something to him."

McIntosh Injured

Starting linebacker Rocky McIntosh suffered an injured left knee early in the game, and though he was listed as questionable, he never returned.

McIntosh, in his first season playing regularly on the weak side after spending his rookie season largely on special teams, walked off the field slowly. Rookie linebacker H.B. Blades took McIntosh's spot in the base defense, while veteran Khary Campbell handled some of his responsibilities on third down.

Odds and Ends

Wide receiver James Thrash returned to the lineup tonight after missing four games with a high ankle sprain. With Thrash back, the Redskins had a full complement of their top three receivers for the first time since October. . . . Rookie quarterback Sam Hollenbach, signed to the practice squad and then activated to the roster Saturday, was on the sideline tonight as the third quarterback with starter Jason Campbell injured. . . . With reserve cornerback John Eubanks out with an infected toe, veteran corner David Macklin was active for the first time since Oct. 28. . . . Giants special teams player David Tyree was inactive following the death of his mother in Florida. . . . Washington is 2-0 at Giants Stadium this year. The Redskins beat the Jets 23-20 in overtime on Nov. 4. . . . Sinorice Moss had a career-best five receptions for 53 yards and his brother Santana led Washington with three catches for 75 yards.

Staff writer Jason La Canfora contributed to this report.

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