With the state of the Colts safety position currently, there's absolutely no surprise nor any doubt that LaRon Landry will be one of the most important players for the Colts in 2014.
To some fans, that's a scary thought. We've already looked at how he's a player under a lot of pressure this year, and many of those same reasons translate to the reason why he's on this list. It's because with the current state of the secondary for the Colts, Landry will be crucially important to the Colts this season.
Landry racked up 87 tackles in 2013 with 2 pass deflections in 12 games played, but those stats don't tell the whole story. Landry was bad last year, and the Colts absolutely need him to step up in a big way this year. He will have a huge impact on whether the Colts defense is successful or not in 2014 because, well, at the safety position right now it's him and then everybody else. There are hopes for guys like Delano Howell and Mike Adams, but with the question marks in the secondary Landry will need to have a big impact.
Of course, that impact starts with staying on the field. Last year Landry missed 4 games and he has a history of struggling with injuries. Even this year, when he showed up to mandatory minicamp (after not attending the voluntary OTAs) it was discovered that he was injured and therefore he missed minicamp. He should be back for training camp, but that just reemphasizes the injury concerns with Landry. If he can stay on the field, he has shown that he can play well - he was a Pro Bowl player for the New York Jets in 2012. But in 2013, he wasn't anywhere close to that and he wasn't good. While staying on the field would be a good start, it's crucially important to the Colts that Landry not only play but play well. In a passing league like the NFL is today the safety position is very important and the Colts have a lot of question marks at the position. Also, safeties play a significant role in run defense as often times they play down low in the box, and Landry can do that and in fact that 's probably the area where they need him to step up the most - being the physical presence in the defense and helping be a force against the run while also helping to defend the pass.
The safety position has several question marks, and one of them is LaRon Landry, the one who will definitely be starting. The Colts need him to step up and play well and it's very important that he do so. Some may disagree with me placing Landry 6th on this list, but he's going to be counted on as the mainstay of the safety position and with the uncertainty and doubt at the other safety spot, Landry's job becomes much more important. If he plays like he did last year, coupled with the questions at the other safety spot, the secondary could struggle for the Colts this year and as such the defense as a whole could struggle. It's very important that LaRon Landry play and play well in 2014.
Check out our list counting down the 14 most important players to the Colts' success in 2014:
14. Pat McAfee, punter
13. Anthony Castonzo, left tackle
12. Greg Toler, cornerback
11. Reggie Wayne, wide receiver
10. Cory Redding, defensive lineman
9. Dwayne Allen, tight end
8. Bjoern Werner, outside linebacker
7. Arthur Jones, defensive lineman
6. LaRon Landry, safety