Written by Matthew Cannata at 10:00 AM EST | Twitter: @PhinManiacs
Earlier this week, Jarvis Landry was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for October for his strong play on kickoff returns. During that time, Landry has almost broken several to the end zone but has always been tripped up at the end by the last man of defense. Looking ahead, Landry is confident they will score touchdowns on kickoff returns but for now, he reflected on what the award means to him and the rest of the team.
“It’s definitely a tremendous honor but it’s not time to celebrate, it’s not time to pat myself on the back or anything. It’s about the 10 guys, it’s about this team, it’s about the special teams unit. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about my name being recognized. As a special teams unit, we just strive to try and make plays each and every week. Those accolades, they come when they come. It’s just about going out there and making plays and that’s what we’ve been doing.”
Landry, who said he had only handled a handful of kickoff returns prior to his time in the NFL, isn’t surprised about the amount of success he’s having at the highest level of the sport.
“Like I said, it’s just been all about the preparation. It’s been all about (Assistant Special Teams) Coach (Marwan Maalouf) Mouf, and (Head) Coach (Joe) Philbin and (Special Teams) Coach (Darren) Rizzi, giving me an opportunity to get back there. Not only that, like I said, the other 10 guys, the other 10 guys that are blocking for me and making this all possible for me to rack up yards. It’s about the coaches trusting in me, the players trusting in me and me trusting them. That leads to consistency, that leads making plays for one another.”
Earlier in the season, Landry had trouble with fumbling the ball on returns and there was chatter that he would be replaced on special teams. Fortunately for the entire team, the coaches stuck with him and let him figure out his mistakes.
“Just like anything goes, you have your ups and downs, but you don’t want to have peaks and valleys. You want to be as consistent as possible. Where we are right now in this season, we want to peak, we don’t want to flutter. We just want to continue to make plays. That’s just the outlook and the mentality of the guys and myself and this team.”
Joe Philbin echoed that sentiment and said that Landry is a fearless player who plays the game the right way and who plays the game with the passion that is needed in the NFL.
“I think the two things you just mentioned were plainly evident on his college film. Dennis Hickey, our GM (general manager), and his staff did a great job of identifying players. When you watch the film of the guy, you just loved the way he played the game. Like you said, running in a pair of shorts on turf in Indianapolis is one thing, and playing a football game is another. The guy was fearless going across the middle. He displayed outstanding hands. He was tough. The guy is a football player and we like those kind of guys here in Miami.”
Based on what Landry has displayed so far this season, it looks like he’s going to be a great player for years to come with the Dolphins organization.