Landeta punts on chance to blast Giants

November 21, 1993|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,Staff Writer

Sean Landeta will let his numbers speak for themselves.

In his first game for the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday after being waived by the New York Giants, he punted eight times against the Atlanta Falcons for an average of 47 yards, including punts of 66 and 62 yards. The 66-yarder was the longest Rams punt in seven years.

Yet Landeta wouldn't gloat, even though he seemed to prove he can still punt with the best of them despite the Giants' decision to release him.

"Most of the time, any punter in the league who gets seven or eight chances, if the weather's decent, will have a good day," he said.

Landeta also wouldn't complain about the Giants' decision to release him, even though it cost him about $200,000 because he had to take a pay cut with the Rams. Giants coach Dan Reeves wanted more of a directional punter and signed Mike Horan, who played for him in Denver.

"It's just part of the business," Landeta said. "I went three USFL seasons [with the Philadelphia/Baltimore Stars] and almost nine NFL seasons without having to deal with any of that. I was pretty lucky to go that long without being fired. I'm just glad I had a chance to continue without missing a beat, which is tough to do when you get fired. You're very lucky not to miss a game because there are only 28 [punting] slots."

He also said he had no hard feelings toward the Giants.

"If I never played another down of football after I was released, I wouldn't be bitter because I've been fortunate to do everything you want to do as a player," he said.

Landeta, a Baltimore native who played at Towson State, has managed to squeeze 12 seasons into 11 years because in 1985 he kicked in the spring for the Stars and the fall for the Giants.

Landeta, 31, said he he'd like to punt at least three more years to make it 15 pro seasons.

"In round numbers, I'd like to get to 15, but I'd like to play as long as I can punt," he said. "If that's two more years, then it's two. If it's seven more, then it's seven. If I can't punt well anymore, I don't want to play."

Landeta is to kick for the Rams today against the Washington Redskins, the team he would have faced last week if he had stayed with the Giants. Although Landeta signed with the Rams only for this season, he'd like to spend the rest of his career with the team.

"It's a beautiful area of the country and I've spent a lot of time out here," he said.

The question now is whether the Rams will stay in Anaheim, Calif. There has been speculation the team will move. If Baltimore doesn't get an expansion team, the Rams could consider moving to Landeta's hometown.

"If that happens [a move to Baltimore], it would be ironic," he said. "If they stay here, I'd be very happy. If that [a move] happens, it wouldn't be bad, either."

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