Since the Rex Ryan era began for the New York Jets, they have had some personnel weaknesses that have constantly needed to be improved. To effectively execute the style of defense that Ryan coaches, the Jets must generate a pass rush, have cornerbacks with the ability to cover man-to-man and have play-making safeties.
Ryan has had the luxury of Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie, two premier cornerbacks on the outside and that has helped compensate for the lack of pass rush and safety athleticism. Eric Smith, Jim Leonhard and Brodney Pool were serviceable but held this defense back from being truly elite.
This past offseason the team took a flier on the injury prone LaRon Landry, one of the elite safeties in the NFL, when healthy. Landry is a safety that can stop the run, blitz effectively and make receivers think twice about coming over the middle.
The team was smart about signing Landry, giving him an incentive-based contract that would pay him according to how many games he was active for.
Up to this point in the season, LaRon has played in every game, proving he can remain healthy. He has been, without question, the most effective safety Ryan has had since joining the Jets. Does the team now offer Landry a long-term contract? His Achilles injury, which has still been monitored throughout the season, has yet to hinder him from playing.
Most Jets fan would love to see the team bring him back, I am sure Ryan would love to as well. Pending no team makes him a extremely lucrative offer in the offseason, it would be a smart move for the team to bring back Landry and preserve this secondary as one of the leagues' elite.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!