INDIANAPOLIS — The Red Hulk.
Chances are pretty good that strong safety LaRon Landry wouldn’t mind using that for a nickname as he begins his first season as a member of the Indianapolis Colts’ retooled secondary.
Landry’s prized possession, which sits on the top shelf of his locker, is a red Incredible Hulk figurine. He’s had it since his college days at Louisiana State and the former Bayou Bengal defender has taken it every place he’s played in the NFL, including previous stops with the Redskins and Jets.
Now it’s Indianapolis and the hard-hitting safety with the bodybuilder physique admits that the Hulk character is a good fit for his on-field demeanor.
“That’s my guy. That’s my alter ego,” Landry said Tuesday before taking the field for his first full-scale mini-camp practice with the Colts.
He missed the team’s three-week organized team activity sessions, which concluded last week, opting instead to work out on his own in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“My trainer and my whole medical staff [are located in Scottsdale],” he explained, adding that he and veteran Indianapolis free safety Antoine Bethea shouldn’t have any issues forming a strong bond.
“I worked out with him in Arizona anyway. We have a familiar background with each other. I’ve been knowing him for awhile. So it’s like a brotherhood back there, I reckon. The chemistry is going to go well.”
Many Indianapolis fans have questioned why Landry decided to skip the OTA workouts, especially since he was joining a new team with a somewhat different defensive system than what he was used to playing with the Jets.
He understands their concerns, but isn’t worried about learning the intricacies Colts’ 3-4 hybrid package.
“I’m giving 110 percent all the time. I’ll do anything to help my team win. Anything. So that’s what they’re going to get from me. Put me in the front line and I’m doing it for the guys behind me,” Landry said.
“Coming off [a right hamstring injury suffered in 2011, ironically in a game against Indianapolis], I just wanted to make sure everything was fine. Last year was my first time that I completed a full season in the past three years. I had that Achilles’ injury that I went through two years in a row. Last year, I participated in a full season and went to the Pro Bowl [as a member of the Jets].”
Colts coach Chuck Pagano came away from Tuesday’s practice impressed by what he saw.
“You could tell he had been studying that stuff [his playbook],” Pagano said. “He had a great first day.”
The Indianapolis coach also appreciated the physical tools that the 6-foot, 220-pound defensive back brings to the team.
“His arms are bigger than anybody on the planet. He looks like The Incredible Hulk. We know he can run all day,” the second-year head coach said.
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* Bradshaw joins Colts — As the team began its first mandatory mini-camp workout Tuesday afternoon, it was announced that another player with a New York background — former Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw — had agreed to terms.
Bradshaw spent the last six seasons in New York (2007-12), rushing for 4,232 yards and 32 touchdowns while also hauling in 132 passes for 1,087 yards and three TDs. He ranks sixth in Giants history in rushing yards, seventh in rushing attempts (921) and ninth in rushing touchdowns.
With Bradshaw being added to the roster, the Colts released undrafted rookie free agent running back Denodus O’Bryant in order to stay within the NFL limit of 90 players.
“[Just] heard. It is true? We signed a running back today? What’s his name?,” Pagano joked after Tuesday’s practice. “We did sign Ahmad. Obviously, every decision that we make and talk about from day one is what’s best for the team, what gives us the best chance to win.
“Signing a player like Bradshaw, his résumé obviously speaks for itself. He rushed for 1,000 yards before he got injured [foot] last year. We know he’s coming off foot surgery. He’s trending in the right direction. Will he get reps out here [during mini-camp]? The guy’s been working out. He’s been playing hoops and doing other things. But if you see him walking around here in a boot, it’s probably because I told [athletic trainer] Dave Hammer to put him in a boot and let’s rest him. Err on the side of caution like we always do. There’s no need to rush him. We’re just very excited, obviously, to have him come into the fold.”
The Colts’ coach said that improving competition throughout the roster is the goal.
“Every acquisition that we’ve made — either through free agency, the draft, you name it — we’ve just tried to create competition at every position. So the guys that we have, they won’t fold. They have great character. They’ve got the right mindset. They’re great competitors. They’re great horseshoe guys. This guy is another horseshoe guy. [He] gets us one step closer to hoisting that [Super Bowl] trophy.”
Bradshaw underwent surgery on his right foot in January. He reportedly agreed to a one-year contract with a base salary of $1.1 million with a $250,000 signing bonus and can earn an additional $650,000 per-game bonuses.
“I got a great call [Tuesday] morning,” Bradshaw said in a Tuesday afternoon teleconference. “Everything’s going uphill. Everything’s working out. “
He plans to arrive in Indianapolis sometime this morning.
“I’m taking it slow right now. I’m definitely going to continue my rehab,” Bradshaw said. “I want to be out there and get acquainted with those guys [on the team]. But my focus is just to learn the offense, to get healthy and just to be prepared for training camp and the beginning of the season.
“With me, there’s no concern [that he’ll be ready for the start of training camp]. I’ll be ready. I’ll be ready to go.”