Barry Barnes recently interviewed Washington Redskins safety Laron Landry and he had a lot to say
The worst thing that can happen between a professional athlete and a training staff is miscommunication regarding an injury.
Indeed, no player wants to be re-injured, especially after spending months of painful rehab in order to return in better shape to perform successfully on a high level.
When Washington Redskin safety LaRon Landry tore three ligaments in his wrist and injured his shoulder, he continued to play—until he tore his Achilles in the ninth game of the 2010 season, finishing with 85 tackles and Pro Bowl consideration. Instead of healing and training in Washington, Landry decided to seek help across the country.
“After I played on my injuries for six weeks, I went to Arizona for treatment,” said Landry via phone. “I said last year before I left that communication is important…. [W]e weren’t on the same page regarding communication.”
During the offseason, Landry worked out with several NFL players when he trained in Arizona. Long before the NFL lockout took effect, resulting in players having no contact with coaching staffs and unable to use workout facilities, Landry felt being away from Washington was the best thing for him. When Redskins players held self-organized workouts, Landry stayed away and worked out on his own, causing the organization to wonder how his progress was going.
After his AC (acromioclavicular) joints healed and sustaining multiple PRP (platelet rich plasma) injections in his Achilles, including shockwave treatments, Landry returned to Washington, physically ready to play on time when the Redskins were scheduled to report after the work stoppage.
Apparently, that’s when the trouble started.
“At this standpoint, I’m frustrated,” said Landry. “It’s another step to get through.”
The Redskins training staff wanted to see where Landry was at physically, so they set up drills for him do. Landry knew what he could do physically and wanted to work himself back slowly.
But according to the five-year veteran from LSU, the training staff had other plans. Landry tweeted his thoughts about the training staff on Twitter, which he later deleted.
“Uuhhh oo it ain’t my fault…blame the genius circus staff for the rush. wouldve been there 2wks ago. Im [sorry] but saga [continues],” wrote Landry.
“Dont u hate when u absolutely know something 200% and dumb.?.?.still do the opposite of what u tell them!!! Set backs.?.?.!!!”
Landry tweaked his hamstring during practice, causing him to miss the final two games of the preseason.
“Basically, if I know my body, I communicate with you how I feel…you should take my word for it,” said Landry.
On Sept. 3, Landry re-aggravated his hamstring during the team’s walk through. Two days later, Landry tried to test his hamstring, but there was no improvement.
“Hamstrings are tricky, my man…so, I’m day-to-day,” said Landry. “Hopefully, I will be a go for the next game, but I don’t know right now.”
Nevertheless, as a high-profile player who is fresh off an injury and in his contract year, the concern of the soon-to-be free agent in holding back to prevent another major injury so he can capitalize on the market starts at the surface.
Landry, who is a man of a few words, was frustrated at the notion of hearing whispers of him sitting out the team’s season opener against the New York Giants on Sunday (which the Redskins won 28-14 at FedEx Field).
Landry did not take kindly to those whispers.
“My agent, Joel Segal, handles that [his contract] and I handle what I do on the football field, so people should not turn my injury into a contract issue,” said Landry angrily. “I’m not returning to the field at 50 percent. That would not be fair to my teammates, the fans and me. If I go out there and I miss a coverage or a tackle, the media and fans would judge me and say ‘I don’t have it anymore and I’m no good.’
“I’m all about having a long career, not just one year,” he continued with frustration. “Do they [the Redskins] want me for years to come or just one game? Allow me to return ready to go, as I know my body, so I can be there for my teammates. No one in this world wants to play football more than me.
“All I ask is remember what I can do when I’m on the field and don’t judge me based on my injury.”
Despite the Redskin defense’s solid outing in their season opener against the Giants, quarterback Eli Manning still managed to throw for 268 yards with no true go-to-guy. When Landry returns, the Redskins defense will eventually be great.
Moreover, the Redskins training staff has to work better with their prize safety in order for Landry to get back on the field so the team can perform better as the season progresses and dispel any rumors.
And they must be on one accord through communication—first.
Barry Barnes is an NFL Blogger formerly of AOL Fanhouse. You can reach him at email@example.com