The Miami Dolphins have one practice in the can and Jarvis Landry stopped to talk to the media on his way back into the facility.
The Miami Dolphins regularly make the press transcripts available to the media and fan-sites so that we can reference them easier and make them available to our readers. It’s difficult to assume what one day of camp will do for the team but some of what Landry had to say gives us a broader view of what could be in store for the 2017 season.
Here is the transcript from today’s Landry post-practice presser.
"(Does training camp feel any different this year coming off a playoff season?) – “No. It’s always going to be hot, I know that. (laughter) For us today, I think we had a good day. Coach took care of us a little bit, having us in the red area a little bit, coming off the offseason. I think we had a good day today.”"
Miami seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on their red zone offense and defense. Something that Adam Gase spoke about as well. It’s good to see that the Dolphins are not over hyping their playoff season of a year ago and staying focused on what needs to be done now as he mentions in his next comment below.
"(Are expectations any different this year coming off the playoffs?) – “No. Nothing has changed. The best thing about it is all 32 teams are at the same point right now. We all have that one goal in mind and that’s win the Super Bowl.”"
"(Is there not a confidence level of knowing ‘Look, we’ve been a playoff team. We are a good team now.’ Instead of hoping in the past that you guys would be a good team?) – “We’re not hoping. We’re preparing for each and every opportunity, each and every game. We’re excited about it. We understand that for us, it’s about today and getting back in there and looking at the film, correcting our mistakes and coming back out here for the walk-through and tomorrow, and being even better than we were today.”"
This is a sentiment that is being echoed by almost all of the Dolphins players and coaches. This team is different in terms of their focus than in previous years. It’s something we began to see last year under Adam Gase and one of the reasons Miami was able to win close games as they took each game one series at a time.
"(Is there even a question of whether you would be out here today?) – “No, there was not.”"
This question was obviously in reference to the contract situation Landry is in. Miami still has not reached out to Landry’s camp about a new deal and with Landry imposing a “no-negotiation” policy once the season begins it appears that a new deal will not come until next off-season.
"(If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be?) – “Just continue to finish with the ball and get in the end zone. (I want to) continue to make the catches, do the little things right and get in the end zone.”(You said it was very important for you to be out here despite everything else that’s going on with the contract. How important was it to deliver on that promise and be out here?) – “Very. Like I said, for me, being a leader and having an opportunity to take another step, we don’t need anything hindering us off that path. So for me to be here and to show the guys that it is about them and it’s about the team, that’s what I’m here to do.”"
This was mentioned a few questions ago and it’s likely that the media will keep it up for the foreseeable future. While it will die down somewhat the closer the season draws near the more he is going to have to address it. Miami doesn’t need to extend him now as they can always use the franchise tag next season if a new deal can’t be reached ahead of free agency.
"(Do you think that was also the approach that C Mike Pouncey was taking by being out there today and getting cleared?) – “That’s Mike. Everybody knows Mike. Mike’s a fighter. He has something that you can’t coach and every guy wants. To have him cleared and have him back out here; we got the news yesterday really. To have him back out here is amazing.”"
Adam Gase was very pleased to have Pouncey cleared to practice but they will still take him really slowly. They have no other options at this point as the depth at center is not stellar.
"(Just so you don’t have to answer this again the rest of camp, just to get it on the record, does it matter to you one way or the other if you get a contract extension before September 10th?) – “Like I said, I’m out here just focusing on now. I’m focusing on all of the things that I can control, every time I step on the field. Everything else is out of my hands, is out of my control. I leave that with God.”"
The media simply can not and will not leave this alone.
"(Do you ease your way into this physically? Or are you out there just full speed, full go from the jump?) – “Full speed, full go. You have to find a way to pick your spots; but at the same time, for the most part I’m full speed.”"
Landry has been impressive from day one of his NFL career. His rookie season established his work ethic on day one of camp when he stayed behind to catch balls off the machine. Landry leads by example in this department so anyone questioning whether he goes full-speed doesn’t follow Landry that closely.
"(Is the competition level with you guys and the secondary, is that up a level from OTAs and things like that? Or a continuation of that?) – “Absolutely. I think we got the best of the defense today. I think we won Round 1. We’ll see. (laughter)”"
The Dolphins have solid players at WR and at CB/S and both sides should make the other better as camp continues. What is surprising is that the offense came out of the gate fast. The last few years it has taken the offense a week to get going in the right direction.
"(You and WR DeVante Parker and WR Kenny Stills have a chance to be what in terms of where you guys rank as a trio of NFL receivers? Could it be a Top 5 group? Top 10?) – “Everything we do, we want to be the best. It’s not Top 5; it’s No. 1. For us, again, it starts with today. We’re not looking ahead. We’re just trying to find a way to better what we did last year and get better every time we touch the field.”"
Again, Landry is not going to give an inch on his expectations but in reality this receiver unit could very well be a top five trio. It isn’t going to come down to how well they play but instead on how well Ryan Tannehill is protected and how well he progresses in his 2nd season under Adam Gase.
"(How have things shifted for you as far as the way you approach training camp or your expectations for a season now that this is your fourth year?) – “Everything has slowed down a little bit. After probably your first two training camps, you kind of learn what to expect. Knowing what to expect and knowing coming in here what we were getting ourselves into, it’s a little bit … It’s hard; but it’s a little bit easier as far as just making the transition from the offseason to now.”"
If the game is slowing down for Jarvis Landry, well, this could be a bad year for opposing defenses.
"(Has anything changed for you over the last few years as far as what you look to get out of a season? Do you go in with numerical goals or did you used to go in with that and now you think differently about it?) – “No. Everybody goes in with goals, of course; but again, it starts with me putting the work in now and that will translate when the games come around after the preseason. We’ll talk about the rest later.”"
I can attest first hand that Landry is not obsessed with numbers. Last season we met with Landry for a question and answer session following one of the teams practices and Landry is not driven by statistics in terms of his personal goals. He is far more concerned with how those numbers help the team. It’s a reason that he is trying to be more open in the red-zone.
"(How much pride do you take in having, not only part of the record of most catches in the first three seasons in a career  but sharing it with a buddy like N.Y. Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr.? Is there a pride in both of those things?) – “Absolutely. It means everything. It’s something that we’ve both talked about. The race for Year 4 is on. I don’t think anybody has done Year 4 either, so that’s on now. It’ll be fun. It’ll be interesting. I love him to death so it’s all good.”"
Landry and Odell Beckham are former LSU teammates and continue to push each other to get better so this friendly rivalry will continue to help Landry become better as he advances his career.