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I’ve been a Jarvis Landry fan ever since I saw him on the Dolphins practice field for the first time. Then I went back and watched his college highlights and I was even more impressed. The one-handed catches. The nifty moves. The quick acceleration. The tenacious mindset. This is a gifted young man who has a chance to be special.
It remains to be seen exactly how the Dolphins will utilize Landry in his rookie season. But you get the feeling that offensive coordinator Bill Lazor won’t have any trouble concocting all sorts of possibilities. From the day Landry arrived, his teammates and coaches marveled over his maturity and his ability to grasp a complex offense.
“I know he’s a rookie but he plays like a veteran,” said Brian Hartline.
So after a recent late morning practice, I cornered Landry as he was walking off the field to play a little 10 questions. Fortunately, he didn’t put a move on me because I wouldn’t have had a chance.
1. So you run into someone who has never seen you play. How would you describe yourself?
JL: Physical. Intense. Passionate. Catching ability. Running ability. Selfless. Tenacious. I’m everywhere on the field.
2. You ran a poor time at the combine and that’s probably why you slipped to the second round. Did that put a chip on your shoulder?
JL: I wouldn’t say a chip. I play with passion all the time. Unfortunately I had an injury and it slowed me at the combine. I just don’t think it was in God’s plan for me to go in the first round. So the Dolphins got me in the second round and I’m happy to be here. Everything happens for a reason.
3. You sit down for your perfect dinner. You can pick one person to be at the table and anything to eat. Who is sitting at the table and what are you eating?
JL: My uncle has recently passed away. He meant so much to me. He would be at the table with me. We would be eating Thanksgiving dinner and the conversation would be great. The food? Plenty of turkey, stuffing, dirty rice, yams, peas. All the good stuff. I wouldn’t mind someone like Lebron James at the table, but I’d have to choose my uncle over everyone else.
4. What’s your most memorable moment playing football at LSU?
JL: The last game at the LSU stadium and coming back from behind against Arkansas. I was making big plays all over the field. To finish my home career that way was special. I made a one-handed catch in that game that everyone keeps talking about. I went over the guy’s back to catch the ball. It was a big third down play. I think that’s a play that’ll be in the LSU highlights forever.
5. You have put together a highlight reel of amazing catches throughout your career. Do you ever look at some of those catches and wonder how you pulled it off?
JL: Maybe after I see the film the first time. Truthfully, I expect to make catches in tight windows. I expect to make acrobatic catches. For me, it’s what’s next? What can I do the next time that was better than what I did the last time? Is there a catch I can’t make? No. I honestly believe that.
6. How certain are you that the best is yet to come for Jarvis Landry?
JL: I’m a life-long learner. I believe in constant learning, constant improvement and development. One of my special teams coaches at LSU, who is now with the Jets, told me about this Japanese term called “Kaizen.” That means skill development and constantly chasing yourself to get better. That’s what I’m about. That’s why I’m always going to improve. It’s all about Kaizen.
7. Tell us what you are like away from football, your passions and interests?
JL: Music. All kinds of music. Country. Rock. R&B. Jazz. Blues. You name it, I like it. Family is also very important to me. Those are my passions. I also love to play the guitar. I love to write poetry. I love to do things to relax my mind.
8. Have you had a welcome to the NFL moment yet?
JL: I’ve had a few already. Most of them have come in practice. Seeing Cameron Wake running me down from behind. That was amazing. Then to play against Cortland Finnegan and having him grab me and challenge me and doing all the little things that he does. Those are the moments that really introduced me to the NFL.
9. How long do you want to play this game and what do you want people to say about you when you are through?
JL: I want to play as long as my body allows me to. That’s the love I have for this game. As far as leaving the game, I just want to leave my mark, leave my legacy. I’ve said this before that I’m chasing something bigger than the Hall of Fame. For me, as a player and a man of God, I have been put on this stage to touch other lives. For me, it’s about trying to change the world to make it better by using this pedestal of sport that has been given to me.
10. After going through training game, after going through the preseason, are you convinced that you can make it in this league?
JL: Absolutely. No doubt about it. I look around here and I know I belong. The Dolphins organization believed that too by taking me in the second round. For me, it’s about constant improvement. Coming to work with a clear head. Making all the plays. I’m fortunate to be here and I’m going to make the most of this opportunity.
(On Thursday, AC in the AM ponders the question: What should we expect from Ryan Tannehill?)
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