"I chugged 76 yards," he says. "The last 10 yards I heard this guy on my shoulder and I knew he was thinking, 'Why doesn't he hurry up and get this over with!' We fell down together from exhaustion on the Green Bay 11."
Like many a defensive lineman, Landry stands in awe of Tarkenton, the Giant water bug. "I could never run around from sideline to sideline the way Fran does," he says. "In the first place, I'd probably run out of breath and in the second place, I'm not as quick as he is and I don't think I could get away with it."
When Landry runs, he runs forward, but he is not too fond of running up the middle, despite his success with the sneak. "You don't know where the trouble is coming from when you go up the middle," he says. "The coaches want me to run along the sidelines so that I know where it's coming from, and I can get out of bounds if I have to. I'm not going to run over anyone and I don't have really exceptional speed, but I have broken some long gains because the defense has to respect the threat of Owens up the middle and that opens some pretty big gaps for me.
" John Brodie taught me one big lesson," he says. "I used to hear the crowd when they booed me and they would when I was having a bad day. It would get to me and I'd do things like throwing a bomb when I shouldn't or cutting down on my passing if I'd had a few in-completions in a row. But John told me how the fans in San Francisco used to get on him. He said you have to shut out the crowd noise, cheers or boos, and that when you learn to do that. you've got it made. Well, I've learned to do it now and I don't even hear the crowd anymore."
Fortunately, Landry has heard very few boos this season; he is playing out his option and he feels that his performance so far has buttressed his demands for more money. "I was just about to sign when the freeze came on," he says. "At first I was upset but now I think that it has worked to my advantage. Before this season I hadn't proved I had the ability to lead the team, and they said I lacked experience. Now that I've shown what I can do I don't think we'll have any trouble reaching an agreement."
No matter what they pay Landry, the Lions will get a run for their money.