Hey Derek Landri: No One Asked for Your Opinion on John Henderson

Daniel ShanksAnalyst IJune 5, 2009

PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 05:  Derek Landri #66 of the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrates after sacking Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first half of the AFC Wild Card game on January 5, 2008 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

So, I'm perusing the Florida Times-Union Web site when I see the headline of Gene Frenette's blog.

"Jaguars' Derek Landri on Henderson: Del Rio did 'right' thing"

Needless to say, I about fell out of my chair.

Landri is a third-year defensive tackle who spent some time playing alongside Henderson in the trenches. He's a Notre Dame alumnus who saw action in 15 games last year and recorded two sacks.

Three paragraphs into the blog, Landri got off this epic blast:

"I'll put my name on it. Jack (Del Rio) did what was right," he told Frenette.

I don't even know where to start.

First of all, we have to address Henderson's injury. He told the media that it was a minor shoulder dislocation, and he had ironed things out with his head coach.

Just days earlier, Del Rio essentially called out Henderson's manhood for missing some workouts with the shoulder injury that he downplayed as nothing of real significance.

I understand where Del Rio was coming from, although I think he could have handled the situation differently.

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One thing you never want to do is publicly call out a player for either faking or milking an injury, especially when that player is supposed to be the cornerstone of your defense.

His comments would have been best given to Henderson one-on-one, man-to-man. But I'm sure Del Rio was asked about Henderson's status and gave his honest opinion, which is rare these days.

But Landri NEVER should have gone public about what Del Rio said with regards to Henderson for a few reasons.

First, he looks like a teacher's pet to the rest of the guys in the locker room.

Even if players think that Del Rio was right for calling Big John out, the fact that Landri publicly agreed with his coach's decision to put his teammate on blast makes it look like Landri's kissing Del Rio's posterior and jockeying for more playing time.

Second, he insinuated that Henderson was milking the injury.

"(Del Rio) said what had to be said. When (Henderson) wants to be, he can be a dominant player."

So, in the span of two sentences, Landri called out his teammate on two fronts.

First, Landri sided with Del Rio in that Henderson never should've missed a practice.

Second, he hinted that Henderson is a lazy player by saying he's a dominant player when he WANTS to be.

I've maintained this stance all along whenever a situation like this arises. I know that my sportswriter brethren won't appreciate this, but stuff like this should NEVER leave the locker room.

Sure, this stuff makes for good quotes and juicy stories, but it also leads to discontent and strife in the clubhouse.

You can bet that Landri's comments will get a mixed reaction, but there will be people—Henderson most of all, I'm sure—who will be looking to give Landri what's coming to him.

Hey Landri. This is going to be your third year in the NFL.

Who in the world do you think you are?

Henderson is a Pro Bowl player.

Do you think that a guy with two career sacks should be pulling his card?

Even if what he said was true, you have to have more respect for your teammates.

Hopefully, Landri will keep flapping his gums. It makes for good reading material.

His comments don't, however, make for a harmonious locker room.

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