Washington Redskins









News & Notes: Landry Stays At Free Safety
By Gary Fitzgerald
Redskins.com
July 22, 2008

LaRon Landry will stay at the free safety position for the foreseeable future, defensive coordinator Greg Blache said this week.

The Redskins drafted Landry in the first round in 2007 with the intention of playing him at strong safety. With the tragic death of Sean Taylor last November, Landry shifted to free safety.

Landry finished with 97 tackles, third-best on the defense, and 1.5 sacks. He also had two fourth-quarter interceptions in the Redskins' playoff game at Seattle.

"I just think LaRon brings so much to the table for us at the free safety spot," Blache said. "He's such a force back there, being able to play from sideline to sideline. I like the ability he has back there.

"Until I come up with something better, then we're not fooling with it."

Blache kept his options open at free safety after the Redskins signed fifth-year veteran Stuart Schweigert in the offseason.

Schweigert, who started 42 games for the Oakland Raiders the last four years, has played mostly free safety in his career.

For now, Reed Doughty appears to have a hold on the strong safety position.

Blache praised Doughty's progression to a starter late last season.

"If you give someone an opportunity, the good ones are going to rise to it, and the so-so aren't," Blache said. "Reed is one of those guys who is going to rise to the challenge. When you first meet him, you see a serious individual. You see someone committed to football.

"He has that passion for the game. He has got the smarts. It's not like he's infallible and he never makes a mistake, but he doesn't make the same mistake twice. That's his trademark. And that's why he has gotten so much better."

Doughty remains a respected player in the locker room, especially after he entered the lineup for the late Taylor last December.

Doughty finished with 49 tackles and a half-sack in six starts last season.

Regarding Landry's development, Blache said: "LaRon is an improved player. He grew up at lot at the tail end of the season last year when he had to move back to free safety after we lost Sean. He got comfortable at free safety, and then he got confident in it. We've watched him continue to grow."

-- BUGEL ON THE O-LINE

Joe Bugel spoke with reporters at length on Tuesday about the state of his offensive line.

Jon Jansen and Randy Thomas are responding well to their increased workload in camp, he said.

Chris Samuels is participating mostly in individual drills in camp after having minor elbow surgery in late June.

Pete Kendall continues to be the backup center behind Casey Rabach, Bugel said. Young linemen Justin Geisinger and Andrew Crummey are also competing at backup center.

Jansen is another alternative as a backup center, but he is expected to remain at right tackle.

Bugel praised Rinehart and Stephon Heyer, saying they are having outstanding camps.

He joked that a year ago, Heyer would rarely take his shirt off because he didn't have a chiseled physique. After a year of working out at Redskins Park, Heyer is proud enough of his body that he was recently seen running shirt-less on the treadmill.

"He thinks he's Tarzan now," Bugel joked.

-- ONE PLAYER AWAY?

On Sunday morning, Fred Smoot believed the Redskins were one player away from being Super Bowl contenders.

On Sunday night, the Redskins got that player.

Smoot, of course, was sad to see Phillip Daniels go down with a season-ending knee injury. But he also feels newcomer Jason Taylor is an elite defensive end who improves the Redskins' defense.

"You look at teams and you always see teams that are one or two or three players away from being a contender," Smoot said. "I think we were one player away, and I think we got that player. Now it's up to us to put it in writing."






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