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For Landry, Football Is a Family Affair

Not many kids get to see two sides of their father. LaRon Landry did, though.

Growing up in a suburb of New Orleans, Landry knew his dad Frank as a nurturing, caring person. Then he started playing youth football for the team that his father coached.

That changed everything.

"He was the kind of coach who would really yell and scream at you," Landry said.

There was a lesson to be learned, though. And Landry learned it well.

He said: "I think that's what molded me when I took the step from middle school football to high school football, where the coach was really a physical coach who would emphasize his words. I looked at it as the message he was trying to get across, not his tone of voice."

Landry went from Hahnville High School to LSU, where he starred as a hard-hitting safety and became one of the nation's top defensive backs.

The Redskins selected him with the sixth overall pick in the NFL Draft's first round.

Said head coach Joe Gibbs: "I was talking to LaRon's dad and at one point he said to me, 'He can take hard coaching now.' Gregg Williams was standing there and I said, 'Well, he might get a little bit.'

"That was one of the interesting things that started to pop up on the scouting notes about LaRon. Lots of times they put on there whether or not a player can take hard coaching.

"I think it does make a difference when you grow up in an athletic family."

Landry's father played at Northeast Louisiana. His brother Derik was a defensive end at Vanderbilt. Another brother, Dawan, played at Georgia Tech before getting drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round of the 2006 draft.

During his introductory press conference on Sunday at Redskins Park, Landry said he was looking forward to playing near his brother Dawan. The Redskins and Ravens play a preseason game on Aug. 25.

"He was very happy for me," LaRon Landry said. "He's happy I'm down here, since he's right up the road, so we'll have time to see each other more often. He gave me some encouraging words. He told me to just come in here, learn the playbook, watch game film and be ready to go to work."

Landry's family background in athletics aided his development as a football player.

"We've always had that competitive background--that sports family background--so it was very competitive growing up. It didn't matter what we were doing, whether it was outside playing basketball in the yard or playing video games, it was always competitive.

"My parents bought us some boxing gloves because they got tired of us fighting. So we went to war. I was about five years old and we used to always go to war with our Sugar Ray Leonard boxing gloves."

As a rookie, Landry will fight to earn a starting job in Washington. The Redskins have solid depth at safety, with Sean Taylor starting at one spot and veterans Pierson Prioleau, Omar Stoutmire, Vernon Fox and Reed Doughty are also competing for playing time.

Gibbs said that coaches feel good about the depth at the safety position.

Added Landry: "It's all up to the coaches to decide who gets on and off the field. I'm just going to bring forth what I have to bring to the table--and that's hard work and dedication."

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