Derek Landri

Posted: June 23rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 21 Comments »

A few of you were disappointed when I didn’t talk about his Top 5 highlights video yesterday.  Well, I finally watched it and now have some thoughts to share.

For those who don’t know, is doing a new feature where they show the Top 5 highlights of a player from 2011.  Derek Landri got covered on Friday.  Here is the video.

One thing to look for as you watch the video is just how strong he is.  Landri only goes 290 (or so), but he’s got a powerful upper body and plays with good leverage.  He’s able to shed blocks because of this.

I love the fact that one thing that sticks out in the video is how often Landri and his blocker are in the backfield.  Again, that’s a sign of strength.  Derek is able to drive the guy back or overpowers the attempted block and the guy goes with him as he shoots into the backfield.

I don’t have any real argument with the Top 5 highlights.  I’d have to go back and thoroughly study my notes to see if they missed anything.  My least favorite was #5, a sack vs ARZ.  Landri was unblocked on the play.  Just before that highlight, they show him in the Miami game drive the OG backward and then get a TFL on the RB.  To me, that was more impressive than the unblocked sack.  Still, it was fun to see him level a QB.

The #4 highlight, a TFL vs Miami, was a thing of beauty.  That was Derek at his best.  He used a great rip move and then fired upfield.  Boom.  Down goes the runner.

#3 was the blocked FG.  That was just Landri being Landri.  Once again…strength.

#2 was a sack vs Dallas.  It almost looked like he used a spin move.  He floored McGee on the play.

#1 was his fumble recovery vs the Giants.  Landri’s motor is on display here.  He isn’t just watching.  He’s staying active until the whistle blows.  That motor helped us to win the game.  He was blocked on the play, but didn’t stay blocked.  All young DTs should learn from that.  Keep moving and play to the whistle.  Good things will happen.

I’m assuming Jeffrey Lurie will submit this to the MPAA  for best short film of the year and best documentary.  It will win both and bring home a pair of Oscars.  Landri will then use one of them as a hood ornament on his car.  He’ll wear the other around his neck as a reminder of his cinematic greatness.

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The Eagles released DE Maurice Fountain after an injury settlement ($37 and 2 bags of Funyuns).  The team then signed UDFA DT Tevita Finau from Utah.  I’ve not had a chance to study him yet.  Here’s a quick blurb from the mothership:

The 6-4, 283-pound Finau was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Arizona following the draft. Finau logged 37 tackles with five tackles for loss and three sacks as a senior in 2011 for Utah. Finau played a huge role in Utah’s Sun Bowl win against Georgia Tech, recording a career-high 10 tackles.

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Fake WIP Caller posted another terrific column over at SB Nation.  He has some great lines.  God, it must be fun to write that stuff.  His line on Joe Banner is absolutely brilliant.  Kudos.

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Jimmy Bama has up a funny post at BloggingThebEast.  He did a quiz on the Skins secondary that is quite humorous.  You’ll want to definitely check this out.  Trying to choose a favorite question is harder than choosing favorite Derek Landri highlights.  There are some classics in there.


21 Comments on “Derek Landri”

  1. 1 Anders Jensen said at 12:17 PM on June 23rd, 2012:

    Landri is in the perfect position with us. He gets tons of snaps, but he isnt asked to play as a starter where his body cant keep up with his endless motor

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 11:48 AM on June 24th, 2012:

    Great fit for role and scheme.

  3. 3 T_S_O_P said at 4:28 PM on June 23rd, 2012:

    Golic begat Grasmanis begat Landri. It’s biblical!

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 11:49 AM on June 24th, 2012:

    Truly. The legend of the #3 DTs.

  5. 5 austinfan said at 4:35 PM on June 23rd, 2012:

    The weird thing about Landri is how little respect he gets around the league other than PFF. This is a guy who started 16 games for Carolina in 2010, puts up 40 tackles, 3 sacks, 7 stuffs, and has to settle for a one year veteran minimum deal. Last year, in 12 games, he puts up 21 tackles, 2 sacks and 6 stuffs after being cut and resigned. And still no one offered him a good deal.

    Now, I realize his size limits the amount of snaps he can be effective, but a lot of starting DTs only play 500 or so snaps, and get paid a lot of money for being less effective. Now some of it is scheme, if you’re playing two gap on run downs, Landri ain’t your guy, and while he gets penetration, he’s not an ideal pass rusher, he’s actually a better NT than a “3”.

    You’d think teams would realize that smaller, quick guys have a role:
    2012 Jarek Crick #128 6’4 279 lbs
    2012: Mike Daniels #134 6’0 291 lbs
    2011: Karl Klug, #142, 6’3 275 lbs
    2010: Tyson Alualu, #10, 6’2 291 lbs
    2009: Henry Melton #105 6’3 269 lbs (DE)
    2009: Gene Atkins #120, 6’1 286 lbs
    2008: Jason Jones #54, 6’3 275 lbs (DE)
    2008: Eric Foster, UDFA 6’1 273 lbs
    2007: Derek Landri #166 6’2 290 lbs
    2005: Mike Patterson, #31, 5’11 292 lbs
    2005: Jonathan Babineaux, #59, 6’2 285 lbs
    2004: Tommy Harris, #14, 6’2 292 lbs
    2003: Dan Klecko #117 6’0 283 lbs
    2003: Tony Brown UDFA 6’2 275 (DE)
    Even guys like Kyle Williams 6’1 299, #134, drop because they’re perceived as “too small.”
    Looking at this list, not sure taking an undersized DT early in the first round is a great idea, due to durability (teams feel obligated to “work” 1st rd picks, though Patterson is an exception), but once you get past the first 100 picks, small, quick DTs might be the best bargain out there. And look at bigger DEs who lack outside speed but are quick off the snap.

    There are a number of undersized DTs who had long careers the last couple decades:
    DeMarco Farr, 6’1 276, 1994-2000
    Andy Harmon, 6’4 276, 1991-1997
    Jeff Zgonina, 6’2 285 lbs, 1993-2009
    Santana Dotson, 6’5 278, 1991-2001
    La’Roi Glover 6’2 285, 1996-2008
    Bryant Young, 6’3 291, 1994-2007
    Brian Young, 6’2 278, 2000-2008
    Ellis Wyms 6’3 285, 2001-2008
    John Randle, 6’1 290, 1990-2003

  6. 6 Anders Jensen said at 6:37 PM on June 23rd, 2012:

    Great list. Just a correction tho, Landri is play the NT or 1 tech for us, with Jenkins and Cox as our 3 tech

  7. 7 TommyLawlor said at 11:53 AM on June 24th, 2012:

    Once you get 6-4 or above, I don’t think you can be called undersized. Those guys have a long, sleek frame. They are often DT/DE tweeners.

    Guys that are short or have average height and are 290 or less are in a different situation. They really must be good players. They often play with a chip on their shoulders and that helps them to succeed. It is weird how many of them are doubted, even after having some NFL success. “That won’t last”. Dumb.

  8. 8 austinfan said at 1:47 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    For taller guys, it’s a frame thang, I left out taller guys who bulked up once they hit the pros, there you’re drafting growth potential. But Andy Harmon was just plain skinny,

    One of the keys is arm length, if you’re 5’11 or 6’0, you have to have 32-33″ arms to have a chance, same with OGs and Centers, Shipley was a very athletic center, but no chance with his T-Rex arms.

    The other seems to be high motor, and I think this is where coaches have to use judgment, Carolina played Landri 700+ snaps, then wondered why he wore down? A lot of 330 lb DTs are the same way, great for 400 snaps, then they start taking plays off, with smaller guys, they may not take plays off (stamina is less of a problem) but they’re a step slower and not as strong when they get fatigued. And they don’t have a step to give.

  9. 9 A_T_G said at 5:05 PM on June 23rd, 2012:

    The links were hysterical. My favorite part of the quiz was the series of questions with the same answer.

    I am shocked, however, that this article is filed under “Philadelphia Eagles.” How does Landri not have his own tag?

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 11:50 AM on June 24th, 2012:

    Great point. I’ll look into that.

  11. 11 Anders Jensen said at 7:07 PM on June 23rd, 2012:

    Tommy, I just noticed the top 5 videos have both included Brian Rolle and Derek Landri so far.

  12. 12 TommyLawlor said at 11:54 AM on June 24th, 2012:

    If the next video is about Mike Labinjo you’ll truly know just how much influence I have at

  13. 13 aerochrome2 said at 1:02 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    Off-topic but this seems like a pretty damning quote about Juan: (from Asomugha on todd bowels …

    “He understands the game, not only from a secondary’s point of view and not only from a defense’s point of view, but he understands it as a whole. He sees it very well. There are things that myself, that I see or that last year a couple other guys would see that…it helps to have a guy also that can help Juan [Castillo] out with that because he’s seeing the same things that we see, whether it’s how teams want to attack us, or ways to get better at our positions, how to cut off the things that don’t work for the defense and how to upgrade on the things that do. So he’s been very helpful so far, and obviously we’ll continue to see how helpful he’ll be, but it’s been a great addition.”

    It seems to be saying the Asomugha and others would recognize things that our defensive coordinator could not… that seems to me to be a problem

  14. 14 austinfan said at 1:50 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    Or that Johnnie Lynn was clueless and didn’t even listen to his own players.

    Bowles was a DC prospect the last couple years.

    Though it also is a matter of perspective, Juan is a college LB and OL coach, he sees things more from a front seven perspective, if your DC is a former DB and DB coach, he’s gonna see things more from a secondary perspective. It would be interesting for someone like Tommy to look at different DCs and their football background and whether that impacts how they scheme their defenses.

  15. 15 A_T_G said at 2:17 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    So, when Bowles does a great job with the secondary this year he is going to get poached by another team?

    Or maybe, after Andy get his SB title this year and moves to the front office, Bowles can step in as OC when Marty takes over as head coach…

  16. 16 TommyLawlor said at 2:25 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    No team will ever make a DB coach the OC. (fingers crossed)

  17. 17 Anders Jensen said at 4:45 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    We have just been told he knows offense.

  18. 18 Steve H said at 5:33 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    I’ve also been told the waterboy has been itching to try his hand at OC since the third grade, and as of now looks to be neck and neck with Bowles as Marty’s successor.

  19. 19 aerochrome2 said at 2:40 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    Didn’t think about it that way, but that actually makes a lot of sense.

  20. 20 TommyLawlor said at 9:25 PM on June 24th, 2012:


    I’ll touch on this question in an upcoming post.

  21. 21 GeorgeFleep said at 2:57 PM on June 24th, 2012:

    Bowles will definitely have a huge impact.Will his biggest impact be helping Castillo? Juan does like to hang around other coaches. This helps him to gain knowledge from them as well. Bowles and Castillo share the interest of everyone attacking the ball. I know its a general statement but hopefully it will shows with how many balls are going to be batted down by the secondary during the season. Bowles does answer to Juan. It is strange because eagles wanted to interview Bowles last year for DC job but MIA didn’t let them.

    One of the reasons why i think that Johnnie Lynn whatever his name was, was let go was because he did not play for Andy Reid like Zordich. Just kidding. I actually think it was because he had too much experience and they have to keep coaches that dont only had one year at their job like Zordich, Caldwell, Castillo.

    If the safeties can effectively play man eagles will be able to be more aggressive with their base and font formations. Bowles has said that he wants to keep the secondary simple in order for their athletic ability show and be used. Redzone should be dramatically better because of this.