Miami Dolphins sophomore wide receiver, Jarvis Landry, may be looking to expand his role in 2015 and beyond.
“Last year was last year. For me, I’ve just got to continue to trust in the coaching staff, continue to compete with these guys and make the plays, make the plays that I’m usually making and more if my role expands,” he said this week during OTAs.
Landry, in 2014, saw most his action from the slot position. He had a rookie receiving record of 84 catches in that position. He was also the team’s sole punt returner and matched very well against the league’s top 10 return men.
The Dolphins have already started to give Landry some work outside the numbers. Joe Philbin comments, "Sure. I think we saw a couple of reps today where he was on the outside, especially down here in the red zone, I remember we threw him one, a fade maybe.”
Landry himself is excited at the opportunity, "For me, I don’t want to be limited to a slot player, I want to have the opportunity to do a lot of different things, whether it’s in the slot or on the outside and just being able to be a threat to know that I can get the ball and still make plays.”
Landry will surely receive more reps in the outside due to this morning’s DeVante Parker news. The Dolphins luckily have a deep receiving core this year. The addition of veteran Greg Jennings and being able to retain Rishard Matthews certainly bolsters the group. Landry becoming more versatile only helps their cause.
“Again, part of it is, getting players in the right spots. We know a little bit more about Jarvis, we know a lot about him as a slot as you mentioned,” coach Philbin continued on Landry. “Part of the OTAs, mandatory mini-camps, would be: ‘what are some of the things he can do well on the outside?’ I think teams, that if you are going to line up and play us, you're going to be ready for him in the slot. But you may not quite be ready for him outside. So what are some of the things we can exploit, take advantage of based on his alignment? He's really worked hard. His route running fundamentals have looked really good."
When it came down to speak on if Landry can be expected to continue returning kicks this year, Philbin said "in kickoff returns, I want to say he was fifth or sixth in the league. He had very good production. This is something that again, a game decision based on who we're playing. What we're anticipating, what schemes we're using. Every play in football, all 161 of them are important. Special Teams, whoever gives us the best chance to win at every position and every situation, we have to consider."
The Dolphins will surely not want to overwhelm the second year player. "There are always pluses and minuses to everything we do,” Philbin said while speaking on the tough balancing act Landry would have to do to produce while receiving and returning. "Every drill, if we do a third down red zone drill, are we giving enough time to first and second down. So there is always two sides to every decision we make, so we'll, at the appropriate time, make those."
With the new additions to the wide receiver group, and added expectations, Landry spoke about if thinks the group will take the next step in 2015. “That’s the plan,” he said. “The plan is each year get better, each year progress. We’ve got the guys... we have the right guys out here to come out and make plays for this team.” I believe they do as well.
This story was written by Pablo Gomez. Follow him on Twitter @PabloGRadio.
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