Colts sign free agent safety LaRon Landry

The Indianapolis Colts are spending fast and freely in free

agency.

One day after signing five players to contracts, Pro Bowl safety

LaRon Landry became the newest addition by signing a four-year

contract with Indy late Wednesday night.

”We’re ecstatic about this signing,” general manager Ryan

Grigson said in a statement issued by the team. ”We feel LaRon is

an absolute game-changer and a true impact player. We’re talking

about a 220-pound safety that runs 4.3 (in the 40-yard dash) and

plays to that speed. His approach to the game and his style of play

are lights out and embody the culture we’re building on the defense

and this team in general.”

In less than 48 hours, the Colts have spent a good portion of

the $40 million they were able to spend in free agency, and they’ve

made a concerted effort to address their most glaring needs –

protecting quarterback Andrew Luck, getting bigger at linebacker

and rebuilding a secondary that struggled the past two seasons.

At 6-foot and 220 pounds, Landry should provide a more physical

presence in a secondary that has traditionally been undersized.

Landry is both big and a big-hitter and he’s proven to be

durable, too. In his first five NFL seasons, all in Washington,

Landry started 79 of 80 games. Last season, with the New York Jets,

he was selected to the AFC’s Pro Bowl team after recording a

career-high 113 tackles, matching his career-high with two

interceptions and forcing four fumbles.

While team owner Jim Irsay confirmed the length of the deal on

Twitter, the Colts did not immediately release financial terms of

the deal.

Landry will now work in a revamped secondary that includes

cornerbacks Vontae Davis and Greg Toler, two-time Pro Bowl safety

Antoine Bethea and former Notre Dame star Tom Zbikowski. Of those

five, only Bethea has been with the Colts more than one season.

Indy signed Zbikowski as a free agent last season from

Baltimore. Toler was one of signees in Indy’s signing frenzy

Tuesday, and they got Davis from Miami just before the start of the

2012 season for a second-round pick in this year’s draft. Davis is

a former first-round pick.

The Colts are hoping a new philosophy translates into stronger

play.

”I don’t do too much talking. I play hard-nosed football. I

stick my nose in the fan if it’s a run,” Toler said Wednesday.

”I’m going to cover up the pass. I’m not going to let them pick on

me too much.”

A year ago, Grigson focused on putting the key pieces in place

around rookie quarterback Andrew Luck. He used Indy’s first four

draft picks on offensive players — Luck, tight ends Coby Fleener

and Dwayne Allen and receiver T.Y. Hilton — and brought in three

veteran offensive linemen, all of whom started in 2012.

He continued reinforcing the line by signing right tackle Gosder

Cherilus and guard Donald Thomas on Tuesday.

”When I went through the whole process, I called a whole bunch

of guys that I’ve played with who played here last year and they

had nothing but great things to say about the whole team,”

Cherilus said. ”The whole organization from (coach) Chuck Pagano

to (left tackle) Anthony Castonzo, they had nothing but positive

things to say. It was time to make the call, I just told my agent

to go ahead and make the call.”

But the primary focus this offseason is to rebuild a defense

still making the transition from a traditional 4-3 front to

Pagano’s 3-4 scheme last season.

The second phase of the plan includes putting more pressure on

the quarterback, adding size and getting more physical in the

secondary.

Indy believes it filled some of the holes by signing Toler and

linebackers Lawrence Sidbury and Erik Walden on Tuesday.

”I felt like my role was a little held back in Green Bay,

always was like a little tagalong,” Walden said. ”Now I’m walking

taller where I can just take over and take charge and be the man.

That’s what I plan on doing.”

Landry is the latest addition and he can’t wait to get

started.

”Thank u Jet Nation 4 da best yr of my NFL career!!” Landry

wrote on Twitter. ”Indy r u ready 2 start?”