With the Super Bowl this week, many of the NFL’s star players are making the rounds in Miami, reflecting on the year that was and looking toward the future, including Cleveland Browns Pro Bowl pass-catcher Jarvis Landry.
Before the season started, many had Landry’s Browns pegged as a contender to end up in the big game. He was a guest on Undisputed on Wednesday and shared his opinion on what went wrong with the team as they stumbled to a 6-10 record, missing the playoffs for a 17th consecutive season.
“Communication,” Landry said when asked by host Skip Bayless on what the biggest issue was. “It’s the biggest thing. When you don’t have everybody on the same page at all times, it can definitely screw a lot of things up. I was a part of it and you guys saw.”
Bayless asked if head coach Freddie Kitchens — who was fired shortly after the Browns final game — was the issue.
“I wouldn’t say that. I think it was the right thing to do with the relationship he had formed with Baker. But running a team is a lot more than being personable with one guy and coaching one guy,” Landry said. “Not that he was in over his head or anything like that, but we just couldn’t find a way to get on the same page and find out what our identity was.
“We would go into games, ‘this game we want to run the ball 50 times’ or ‘this game we want to throw the ball 50 times’ instead of just doing whatever it took to win, making in-game adjustments”
Jarvis Landry: Injury Limited Chemistry Between Odell Beckham, Baker Mayfield
The Pro Bowl selection this season was Landry’s fifth of his career as he recorded a career-high 1,174 yards to go with six touchdowns on 83 catches. He led the Browns in every major receiving category despite being hampered by injuries for most of the season.
Despite breaking the 1,000-yard barrier, Odell Beckham Jr. did not play up to the wild expectations set forth after the blockbuster trade that landed him with the Browns in the offseason. Beckham finished his first season in Cleveland with 1,035 yards and four touchdowns.
Landry said for the trio to take their partnership to the next level, it will just take some time being healthy and getting on the same page with QB Baker Mayfield.
“It starts with getting healthy and from there spending as much time with each other as possible, learning the new system, learning what we’re trying to do, what we’re trying to accomplish,” Landry said on First Things First. “That’s the biggest thing, trying to find our identity.”
A year after setting the rookie touchdown record, Mayfield struggled to play consistently behind a patchwork offensive line. He finished his season season with 3,827 yards, 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions, closing out the year ranked next-to-last in both passer rating (78.8) and completion percentage (59.4%) despite having both Beckham and Landry at his disposal.
“I’m sure Baker will be the first to tell you that he didn’t really play his best this year,” Landry said. “We have to do a better job as wide receivers making plays out there. I know I was in a lot of situations this year where I could’ve made a play or knocked the ball down and I didn’t.”
Jarvis Landry Excited to Work With New HC Kevin Stefanski
Landry also spent some time talking about his new skipper Kevin Stefanski, who was previously the offensive coordinator in Minnesota.
“I talked to Kevin Stefanski briefly. Our talks have been, ‘Let’s get ready to work.’ There’s no real plans on what the system totally looks like,” Landry said. “But Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Dalvin Cook found a way to survive and co-exist. I’m excited to see what we can do.”