Today the Indianapolis Colts finally get to take the wrapping paper off an expensive new toy.
No, (likely) not running back Ahmad Bradshaw. Reports have been swirling for days linking the former New York Giant to negotiations with the team, but there still had been no resolution as of press time.
LaRon Landry, on the other hand, has been in the Colts’ fold for quite some time. He signed a four-year, $24 million contract in March but has spent the offseason training in private. When a three-day mandatory mini-camp opens today at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center, Indianapolis finally will get a look at what they’ve paid for.
Anyone who follows Landry’s Twitter account (@MrLandry30) won’t question his physical shape. The man bears an uncanny resemblance to the Masters of the Universe action figures of the 1980s, super-sized arms and all.
But there are questions about how long it will take Landry to get up to speed with a new set of teammates.
After appearing in just 17 games from 2010-11 while battling injuries, Landry was one of the few bright spots for the New York Jets last year. He had 100 tackles, two interceptions and four forced fumbles in a season that ended with his first Pro Bowl appearance.
The Jets’ 3-4 scheme, designed by head coach Rex Ryan, bears similarities to the Colts’ hybrid system. And Landry shares an agent with Antoine Bethea, his new partner in Indianapolis’ defensive secondary.
A defensive backfield of Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Bethea and Landry has a lot of promise on paper. And Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano made his name coaching defensive backs. There are endless possibilities for what he might do with this kind of talent.
The Colts are anxious to finally get their first look at how it all fits together.
Toler has been impressive during organized team activities. He’s a ballhawk, as advertised, with little fear.
Landry is expected to bring something entirely different to the table — the kind of physically intimidating threat the Colts have lacked since Bob Sanders’ heyday.
He’ll likely slot in at strong safety, allowing Bethea to move back to free safety.
Landry is the biggest piece of the Colts’ puzzle that’s been missing so far this offseason. And there’s not much time left to kick the tires on him.
After mini-camp concludes on Thursday, Indianapolis will not get together again formally until training camp opens at Anderson University sometime in late July.
As Colts fans wait for the word on Bradshaw’s comings and goings, don’t forget about the new toy that’s already in the box.
It’s unclear how much of the monster Pagano has promised to build in Indianapolis is still under construction.
But Landry certainly looks the part.