Dawan Landry is going into his ninth season of NFL Football out of Georgia Tech.
He has gone through all of the developmental stages that come with being a professional defensive back in the league.
Landry has been the young rookie starter that was challenged by the vets on the defense in Baltimore.
He has been the player that earned the trust of those vets after he demonstrated his understanding of what knowledge they were passing along to him.
Now, he is the veteran player passing on that knowledge to a young defensive back group with the New York Jets.
Outside of his 2008 season, in which he only played two games before being taken out for the season with a career threatening spinal contusion, he has played in 16 games every season.
Other than his rookie year when he started in 14 games, he has started in all 16 games every year of his career. The only other exception would obviously be the year he was out with injury.
The Jets secondary is lucky to have such a wealth of knowledge in Dawan Landry out there with them.
Landry has played along with two of the greatest defensive players to ever take the field in linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed.
He saw how Lewis and Reed were mentors to the younger players when he was with Baltimore, and now Landry is in that role with the Jets.
Landry also has the benefit of familiarity in New York with Rex Ryan being the head coach. Ryan was Landry’s defensive coordinator for three seasons in Baltimore.
In addition, Rex Ryan brought on to the Jets coaching staff Dennis Thurman, another coach that Landry played under in Baltimore. Thurman is now serving as Ryan’s defensive coordinator.
It seems like Landry is comfortable with himself and the coaching staff that is in place.
In an article by Jackie Lovett on newyorkjets.com, Landry talked about being reunited with Ryan and Thurman as well as taking on the veteran role of being a mentor:
“Oh, it’s a blast. We had so much fun when we were in Baltimore together when I was a younger guy. To see it come back full circle like this … now I get to be a mentor to the young guys out here just like Ed Reed was to me. It’s just fun. It hasn’t changed over the years. They are still great guys. I hold them to a real high standard as just great human beings.”
Outside of Dawan Landry there is no one in the Jets secondary that has over three years experience except for eight- year NFL journeyman Dmitri Patterson. Even then, Patterson’s 78 games played is dwarfed by Landry’s 114 games played.
Landry has a young talented group of defensive backs that are picking his brain as well.
2014 First-Round pick Calvin Pryor, second-year player Dee Milliner, and third-year player Antonio Allen are just a few of the names that are going to benefit from Landry’s wealth of knowledge and experience.
This is why Dawan Landry is so important to the secondary of the Jets.
He is the leader for a bunch of youngsters that are learning how to be professional, and given who Landry has learned from, these youngsters will be taught the right way.