As always, we start articles like this by keeping things real: LaRon Landry stunk in 2013.
That's not an opinion. That's fact.
Landry amassed just 2 passes defended, zero interceptions, and zero forced fumbles in 12 games played last season. Landry was listed at a -2.2 rating by Pro Football Focus. To put that into context, the man Landry replaced, Tom Zbikowski, had a -2.0 rating in 2012.
That Landry was paid $5.75 million in 2013, and that he's scheduled to receive a total of $11 million in guaranteed money, doesn't reflect well on the man who signed Landry last year: Colts general manager Ryan Grigson.
Yet, despite Landry being pretty much abjectly terrible last year, Grigson still thinks the 8-year veteran is a "difference maker" for the Indianapolis Colts. Here's Grigson last week at Colts mandatory minicamp, talking to media about Landry, who is apparently nursing a "soft tissue" injury somewhere to his lower body:
The guy is as put together as anyone as I've ever seen. As explosive as anyone I've ever seen. And, when he gets out here, he's as dialed in as anyone I've ever seen. So, we're looking forward to getting him back out here because he is definitely a difference maker for us.
Landry's injury is not expected to hinder him come training camp on July 23rd. "He'll be fine," Grigson told the media.
While I'm sure we all want LaRon Landry to be a good player for the Colts, the reality is that if he stinks up the joint again in 2014 as he did in 2013, Ryan Grigson is going to look stupid. He was rightly criticized for inking Landry to a 4-year, $24 million deal, and the fact is that, right now, the critics are right.
I have no personal desire to highlight stupid quotes from Grigson, but, perhaps, he should tone things down a bit when it comes to LaRon Landry's value to the Colts. Landry isn't a difference maker. He never was.
Last year, Landry didn't even out-perform undrafted, second-year player Delano Howell. This year, the team inked veteran safety Mike Adams, who has been a consistently better player than Landry over the last three seasons.
Call me nuts, but I actually think a Howell-Adams combo would work better than any combo that involves LaRon Landry. Not surprisingly, the man who gave Landry $11 million of Jim Irsay's money thinks differently.
"We love LaRon. We're expecting great things out of him this year."
You do that, Ryan. Me? I'll just be happy if the dude remembers to tackle the ball carrier.