Washington Redskins strong safety LaRon Landry graded his season debut harshly, saying he left plays on the field. Meanwhile, Coach Mike Shanahan said that he was surprised with how well Landry performed in his first game since Week 9 of the 2010 season.
Landry missed the final seven weeks of last season with a strained left Achilles’ tendon. He then missed the first two weeks of this season while healing from a strained right hamstring.
Against the Cowboys, Landry recorded four tackles and a forced a fumble. He appeared to be his old self, especially on a bone-jarring hit on wide receiver Laurent Robinson along the sideline.
But Landry felt like he should’ve done better.
“I wish those plays I left on the field, I wish I would’ve made,” Landry said. “There’s a couple things I need to brush up – I need to fix – that I saw. I felt okay. Like I said, I’m a hard grader on myself. I critique myself very hard.”
Landry played the majority of the game, but rested for portions of two second-half series. But Shanahan said he didn’t expect the fifth-year pro to be able to play as much — and as well — as he did.
“I was hoping he was going to be able to play but I didn’t think he’d be able to play at that speed and that many plays,” Shanahan said. “I kept talking to him and he looked fine. You could see he got a little tired there in the second half, we took him out a series. But yeah, I was surprised he played as well as he did.”
Landry’s teammates certainly were happy to have him back on the field.
“We don’t have any other players like him on this team,” inside linebacker London Fletcher said. “He’s our most dynamic football player. To have a guy like that: big, physical guy, can run, cover range, makes up for mistakes that other players make. He’s an intimidating presence. We love having him out there.”
Monday marked the first time that cornerback Josh Wilson had played with Landry, but the new Redskins quickly learned how important Landry is to the defense.
“When you’re out there in a war and you’ve got a grenade launcher out there, it helps. He’s going to blow up everything that comes his way,” Wilson said with a laugh. He later added: “That one play, when he hit that guy on the sideline, I said, ‘Wow.’ I just need to stay out of the way.”