Miami-Crush Monday: Jarvis “Juice” Landry Was Let Loose Against the Washington Redskins
For a team like the Miami Dolphins who are often accused of lacking heart or big plays, a culture change is often needed in the locker room to turn the tides of media perception. In Miami, that player arrived when Jarvis Landry was selected in the second round of the 2014 draft.
Landry didn’t receive enough attention in that year’s draft given the presence of fellow LSU teammate Odell Beckham. Beckham obviously had a stellar rookie year, but Landry’s season got lost in the shuffle. While he didn’t put the flashy stats that Beckham, Kelvin Benjamin, or Mike Evans did, he had a massive impact on the team. The Miami Dolphins lacked that electrifying option, and Landry has the ability to do something special whenever he is touching the ball.
Last year we all saw the type of impact that Jarvis Landry can have in an offense, catching 84 passes with 5 touchdowns. Landry was an absolute stud for Miami, and there is no other way to put it. He showed that he is willing to put everything on the line each and every play. On Sunday, he showed that nothing would change in his play heading into 2015.
You never see Landry tackled by one man. It’s that simple. Against Washington he was blowing through defenders, and multiple players were required to bring him down whenever he got the ball. Landry puts forth his greatest effort on every single play, and never lets a play go by where he does not put himself in the best possible position to make a reception.
When the Dolphins faced off against the Redskins, we knew that the team would work hard to make sure Landry was heavily involved in the game plan. The team met that expectation, and had Landry making plays all over the field. He carried the ball out of the backfield, caught passes on screens, and made big plays in the intermediate area of the field.
Two highlights will stand out for fans in this game that earned Landry the MVP vote from fans. The first was obviously the touchdown return that gave Miami the lead, and ultimately the win against the Redskins. Landry took a poorly executed punt and made the defense pay. He sliced through defenders and raced into the end zone the break the quarter-long tie. Miami did not score again, and they didn’t have to. Jarvis Landry put them over the top, and sealed a week one victory for the team.
The next play was on a short reception, and it demonstrated everything that makes Landry such an exciting player. Jarvis Landry catches the ball about 4-yards short of the first down. Where most players would simply go down and take the gain, living to fight another play, Landry decided to keep fighting. He managed to slip tacklers and simply drag players with him as he fought for the extra four-yards, and a first down. It was one of the single greatest feats of pure will I have ever seen on a football field. And it made all of us love him even more than we already did.
Landry makes defenses account for him in multiple facets of the offense as well. When there is an end around his ability to take a handoff and go for a big gain keeps defenses honest. They cant shoot out at the running back like a cannon, because there is a very real chance that Juice takes the carry and gashes you. It’s also difficult to commit one man when attempting to bring him down because…well…one man can’t bring him down. Landry may not have elite speed or size, but he has exceptional hands and route running ability. Couple that ability with a knack for hanging onto the ball in traffic and powering forward to gain extra yards, and you have a lethal weapon for a young quarterback like Ryan Tannehill.
Football teams need players like Jarvis Landry. They need someone to shift momentum. They need someone to make a big play. They need someone to inspire everyone to put in as much effort as the man across from them. He makes the entire team better. Players appreciate the presence of someone who is literally willing to give it all up on every single play just to do what needs to be done. The thing with Landry is that he doesn’t just do what needs to be done. He does more. And that is why Jarvis Landry is a difference maker for this Miami Dolphins team.
Jones was a wrecking ball today, and was destructive in the box against Washington. He flew around the field, displaying a very impressive balance of speed and tackling ability. Jones seemed like he knew where the ball was going to be before it was snapped. If he played for New England I would’ve thought they were cheating. Well, chances are they probably are always cheating so if that’s your bet then you have pretty good odds.
Reshad Jones was the best player on defense today. Not Suh or Wake. It was the Reshad Jones show from the first snap until the clock read zero. If he continues to perform like he did against Washington for the rest of the season, Jones could be looking at a breakout year. If his level of play remains this high, he will finally get the national recognition that he has for so long deserved.
Grimes had an interception that changed the momentum of the game. If the offense had been able to capitalize and score some points off of the turnover we might be talking about it a bit more. Jarvis Landry one-upped Grimes with the punt return for a touchdown, but Grimes did make an outstanding play. He shot down the sideline and emerged out of nowhere to pick off the ill-advised pass from Cousins.
At the end of the day, Grimes did what we always expect him to do in shutting down the opposition’s leading receiver. He and Jones were a formidable duo in the secondary in this game.