Landry, Prude exploit Brees

NEW ORLEANS -- Dawan Landry and Ronnie Prude didn't look or behave like rookie defensive backs merely content to be back on familiar ground, playing football in front of their respective families and friends.

The two Louisiana natives made a major impact on the Baltimore Ravens' resounding 35-22 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday with both returning interceptions for touchdowns against former Pro Bowl quarterback Drew Brees.
First, Prude, a cornerback from Shreveport who played at LSU, alertly grabbed a deflection off running back Aaron Stecker's shoulder pads and burst 12 yards into the end zone in the second quarter for his first interception returned for a score since he began playing football.
Midway through the third quarter, Landry pounced on a sideline pass intended for receiver Marques Colston. He took advantage of Brees being under heavy pressure once again, finishing off his first NFL touchdown by diving acrobatically over the goal line.
"The defensive line had a great rush, and Brees got hit when he threw it," said Landry, who intercepted another Brees pass for his third interception in the past two games. "I was just in the right place at the right time."
Especially in the sense that Landry, who grew up in Ama, La., and Prude had the benefit of a vocal cheering section that wasn't wearing the Saints' black-and-gold fleur-de-lis.
"I had a lot of family in the stands," Prude said. "It was nice to see them come down and watch me play because I know that they aren't going to get up to Baltimore too often. It's really nice to be home."
What made Landry's game even more remarkable is that he didn't begin the game in the starting lineup in his first game since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his knee two weeks ago. Although Gerome Sapp started opposite Ed Reed at safety for the first time this season and recovered a fumble, it was Landry who got the majority of the playing time.
"I just rehabbed real hard the last two weeks," Landry said. "The bye week really helped."
Despite Brees entering the game as the NFL's seventh-ranked passer, Landry and Prude definitely didn't appear intimidated. If anything, they may have surprised Brees on a few occasions.
"Drew Brees is a real smart guy, he reads coverages really well," Landry said. "Most of the time, he knew where we were going to line up, so we tried to surprise him by lining up differently."
Nearly halfway through their first NFL season, both Prude, an undrafted free agent, and Landry, a fifth-round draft pick from Georgia Tech, seem to be growing up rapidly.
"As coach said, there ain't no more rookies," Prude said after intercepting his second career NFL pass. "In my eyes, I'm still a young guy out there playing. I wanted to come in and add a little spark to the team."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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