Safety Is 'Just Thankful To Be Playing'

Ravens Q&a Dawan Landry

'We Fight To The End,' He Says On Playoffs

December 30, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

Each Wednesday we'll bring you a Q&A with a Ravens player to help you learn a little more about the team. Today's guest is strong safety Dawan Landry, who is tied with cornerback Domonique Foxworth for the team lead in interceptions with four. Landry talked about the team's push to the playoffs, the issue of self-discipline and his role as a leader.

Question: : Does this team have what it takes to make the playoffs?

Answer: : Look at the heart that we show each and every week. We fight to the end. All of the games we lost, we were in a position to win those games, but unfortunately, we didn't. We're just going to keep fighting and keep scratching.

Q: : There's been criticism that this team lacks the discipline to be a Super Bowl contender. Is that a valid concern?

A: : Yeah, that was [a concern] in the games that we lost. If we eliminate those penalties, then they would've been blowouts in our favor. If we eliminate those [or] cut them down, then we'll be fine.

Q: : You're tied for the team lead in interceptions and second in tackles and deflected passes. Do you feel like you've been flying under the radar this season?

A: : I just go out there and try to play my game. I try not to look at stats or anything like that. I'm just trying to focus on helping my team win. If I'm going under the radar and we're still winning, I'm fine with it. I try not to compare what I did in the past with what I'm doing now. It feels good just to be making plays right now, and I'm just thankful to be playing.

Q: : Did it bother you to hear some Ravens fans openly criticizing the organization for allowing Jim Leonhard to leave for the New York Jets?

A: : I never heard anything like that. Jim came in last year and did a phenomenal job. But I'm back now. I'm just trying to play my game. I try not to compare myself with anybody else.

Q: : Was there a point during the regular season when you felt fully confident in your surgically repaired spinal cord?

A: : There wasn't a specific play, but I think it built up as the season progressed and I've been feeling more comfortable taking more hits in each and every week. The more hits you take, the more confidence you get. And it's second nature for me, being the player that I am, to hit. That's my style of play. You can't go out there half-stepping, so I'm just going to play my game.

Q: : Free safety Ed Reed has missed the past four games with a strained groin, cornerback Fabian Washington is gone for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament, and Foxworth was signed in the offseason. Does that put a lot of pressure on your shoulders to provide the veteran leadership for the secondary?

A: : It is kind of funny. I do think about it sometimes. I've been here the second longest besides Ed, and sometimes they look at me as a leader. I'll take that responsibility, but I wouldn't say that it puts pressure on me. It's all about communicating and making the guys feel comfortable. We're just having fun.

Q: : Have you talked to your brother LaRon about what he is going through with the Washington Redskins this season?

A: : We talk at least once a week. It's always tough when you're losing like that, and some of them have been close games. The defense has been playing well, but with the things going on with the coaches and things like that. I just try to tell him to focus on doing his job, playing, and having fun.

Q: : What did it mean to you to be named by your teammates as the organization's representative for the 2009 Ed Block Courage Award?

A: : It's truly an honor to be voted by my peers. It shows that they cared about me and respected me. It was a surprise because we have a lot of guys who showed tremendous courage. I voted for [linebacker] Jarret Johnson, and we have guys like Ed and Ray Lewis. They could've picked anybody.

Q: : What was your welcome-to-the-NFL moment?

A: : I never had a rude awakening, but in the playoffs in my rookie year [2006], I got into some words with [former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver] Marvin Harrison. He's a guy who never really talks, so when I got him to say something, I felt like I had made it a little bit.

Q: : Is there an athlete or entertainer you would pay to see?

A: : Michael Jordan. He was my idol when I was growing up. I always wanted to be like Mike. Everybody wanted to be like Mike.

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