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Indianapolis Colts

Landry Back, Defense Intact

For the first time since week two, Indianapolis will have its secondary intact as LaRon Landry returns at free safety. A month of frustration now provides a weekend of anticipation for the hard-hitting Landry.


INDIANAPOLIS – The last Colts fans saw of LaRon Landry was an 11-tackle performance in week two against Miami.

The next peek will be Sunday night when Landry returns to make the secondary intact against Denver.

"It was frustrating.  Being injured is no fun, it's kind of boring," said Landry.  "I'm passionate about the game.  I love the game.  Watching the guys go out and play as a team and win and feel like you're not a part of it is kind of hurtful.  Getting out there feels great."

Landry suffered an ankle injury in his last game and has spent past month rehabbing and staying in otherwise top condition.  He declined to say the defense is different with his return.

"I don't know.  You'd have to ask the guys around me," said Landry.  "I just try to get in there and do anything to help my team win.  I go (full) to the wall.  Just call on me and I'll do whatever it is.  I love it and love being out there."


Landry had 15 stops in his Colts debut against Oakland, and was among NFL leaders with 26 tackles after his double-digit effort against Miami. 

Where Landry declined to speculate on if the defense were different with his return, so did Robert Mathis, but then admitted regard for Landry's style.

"He's a high-energized, high-motor guy," said Mathis.  "He's a big hitter who brings energy to the defense.  I don't say the defense changes, but he brings his brand of football. 

"Teams are not as inclined to come across the middle because they know he's waiting and has a willingness to make the big hit.  Before he got hurt, he was leading the team in tackles.  He's active and does it all within the frame of the defense."

Chuck Pagano is happy to get Landry and Jerrell Freeman, who missed most of last week's San Diego game with a concussion, back against Denver.

"You're going to need as much speed and athleticism as you can get on the field," said Pagano.  "They have game-wreckers all over the place – receivers, tight ends, back.  Certainly getting LaRon back is a help.  Freeman getting healthy and cleared is a bonus."

Rich Gannon saw Landry's debut against Oakland and saw the impact he made on the unit.

"He changes the personality of the defense.  He brings that effort, energy and passion and certainly the physicalness you want from a safety," said Gannon.  "He's a great box player.  He's very comfortable around the line of scrimmage.  He's comfortable in the middle of the field, but he does the most of his damage down on the line.  He's a great tackler, a timely blitzer."

Landry awaits the challenge of Peyton Manning and knows he will key on certain areas in reading a defense.

"Predominantly, quarterbacks look at the safeties to see if we're in single high or cover-two or what have you.  He's going to catch us sometimes," said Landry.  "He waits until the play clock basically gets to zero and snaps the ball. 

"We have to hold our coverage and be able to get to our job.  It's like a cat-and-mouse game against Peyton.  You have to be sound in your coverage, give different looks, disguises.  You have to be on top of your game.  It's all about what we create and do on the back end.  Peyton is going to be Peyton."

Landry was a key off-season acquisition to provide the nature of play coveted by Pagano and Ryan Grigson.  It is about setting a different tone in the secondary and the whole unit, something envisioned with their January 2012 arrival.

"We can't give up too many plays.  We can't give up plays at all," said Landry.  "You can't get frustrated.  He's (Manning) going to do his job.  He's special.  We have to do our jobs.  We have to create.  Don't let him dictate what we're going to do.  We have to dictate and make him play off us."

PRACTICE REPORT – Did not participate:  LB-Bjoern Werner (foot); Full Participation:  CB-Darius Butler (groin), LB-Jerrell Freeman (concussion), S-Delano Howell (neck), S-LaRon Landry (ankle), LB-Kelvin Sheppard (hamstring).

INJURY REPORT – Out:  Werner; Questionable:  Butler, Sheppard; Probable:  Freeman, Howell, Landry.

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