Landry's Preseason Debut Will Wait Another Week

By Jason Reid and Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, August 10, 2008

After sitting out the Hall of Fame game because of a left hamstring injury, safety LaRon Landry planned to play last night against the Buffalo Bills at FedEx Field. Landry figured he would make his preseason debut, play a series or two and "get to mix it up a little" against an opponent.

But Landry's hamstring tightened last week, and the Redskins held him out again. Landry, who is expected to resume full participation in practice this week, hopes to play against the New York Jets on Saturday at Giants Stadium.

Washington's coaching staff, however, plans to take things slowly with Landry for the remainder of the preseason.

"We're going to be smart about this," safeties coach Steve Jackson said. "I would rather have him back when he's ready to be back. I'd rather make sure he's 100 percent than force him to come back, and then it gets to be an extended" absence.

Following the team's practice on Thursday, Landry estimated his hamstring was at "about 80 percent, but I'm not there mentally. I have to know that when I get ready to push that there's no doubt. I can't be out there wondering is it [going to] tighten up on me."

Watching his teammates work without him is the worst part, Landry said.

"It's important to me to be out there doing my job," he said. "Yeah, we've still got time, but I need to work on things to be ready" for the season.

Landry must focus on the bigger picture, Jackson said.

"You don't want him on the field when he doesn't feel comfortable, where he doesn't really want to cut it loose, or he only wants to give you 30 or 40 percent," Jackson said. "He's not that type of player. He's going to give you everything he has, and that's what we want."

Springs Plays at Safety

With Washington thin at safety, cornerback Shawn Springs started at free safety and had one tackle while playing two series.

"It was a lot more relaxing than corner, I will say that," Springs said. "Corner is like nerve-racking every play. Free safety, you've got some plays, you've got to be on the field, but it's not as intense as corner."

Secondary coach Jerry Gray has spoken with Springs, beginning his 12th season, about eventually moving to free safety in an attempt to extend his career. "I could, hopefully," Springs said.

"You've seen guys in the past, guys such as Rod Woodson and other guys who've done it, I'd be willing to do it."

Zorn Pleased With Frost

Despite statistics that would indicate otherwise, Coach Jim Zorn was satisfied with punter Derrick Frost.

"He did well," Zorn said. "In fact, he had the opportunity to pin them back three different times, and he did it each time."

On four punts in his turn to compete in the punting competition with rookie Durant Brooks, Frost had a 34-yard average. One punt was returned 40 yards.

Cerrato Gives Updates

In a pregame radio interview, Vinny Cerrato, Washington's executive vice president of football operations, said rookie safety Chris Horton has a colon infection.

The team previously said Horton, who missed practice late last week, had the stomach flu. Horton is expected to be back at practice this week.

Other Cerrato tidbits: Rookie wideout Devin Thomas (hamstring) might play against the Jets. Cornerback Carlos Rogers, back from major knee surgery, is tentatively scheduled to appear against the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 23. Defensive end Erasmus James (reconstructive knee surgery) is expected to participate in position drills this week. . . .

Former Redskins player Ray Brown had plenty of friends to connect with before the game, as he made his debut as Buffalo's assistant offensive line coach. Brown, who spent some time on Washington's staff in 2006, ended his playing career in 2005 and remains close with friends and former coaches here.

"I love it," Brown said. "It's the NFL, it's football. It's a different area, and I get to really specialize in it and get to learn this side of the business."

Staff writer Zach Berman contributed to this report.

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