Back close to home, Jarvis Landry set to provide lift for Saints

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Jarvis Landry
(Photo: Stephen Lew)

Jarvis Landry decided to return to Louisiana this offseason when he joined the New Orleans Saints after eight successful NFL seasons.

The Lutcher High School alumnus has always produced at a high level.

In a stellar prep career, Landry accounted for 241 catches for 3,902 yards and 50 touchdowns, adding 875 yards rushing with 14 additional scores for the powerful Bulldogs program.

Landry continued his success at LSU from 2011-13, teaming with Odell Beckham Jr. to form one of the most prolific receiving duos college football has ever seen. Landry caught 137 passes for 1,809 yards and 15 scores for the Tigers.

Despite three Pro Bowl appearances, Landry has something to prove as he is set to turn 30 during the upcoming season with the Black and Gold. He feels he’s in a good place to do so.

“I knew the leadership was here,” said Landry. “I knew the culture was here. I knew that this offense has been powered for years. I know what are the capabilities of this offense. I have an opportunity to step in and do my part. Having Jameis (Winston) back is one of the reasons that I came here.”

Like Landry, Winston has much to prove this season. It has required diligent work by Landry and Winston throughout training camp in order to achieve chemistry in the passing game.

“Getting the timing down, making sure I’m in the right place where he needs me to be,” Landry said. “Making sure my steps are right. All of these things matter. Every chance I get to do a walk through, I do it, “(Jameis) knows what he wants, he knows where we’re supposed to be. He has a high standard for himself, as well as the guys he’s throwing the ball to.”

Joining his third NFL team after success with the Dolphins and Browns, Landry has had to learn new offensive terminology. The Saints playbook is his biggest challenge to master.

“Out of my whole career, this is the hardest offense that I’ve had to learn,” Landry said. “It’s part of the challenge. It’s part of being a pro. You’ve got to step up to the plate and learn the playbook.”

The departure of Sean Payton in New Orleans has not changed the meticulous nature of the offensive preparation. Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael is known for his attention to detail.

“There is a lot of detail,” Jarvis said. “There are a lot of things that I’ve learned in the past that means something different here. It is kind of rewind and re-programming things a little differently. That’s what it takes to get on the field and gain trust.”

Landry is aided by his experience. He’s seen plenty of the people on the other side of the ball that he must beat in matchups.

“I’ve been around a few years,” Landry explained. “A lot of guys that I face, I have a book on. A lot of these guys play man-to-man. I’ll base my plan for that week based on what the defense looks like I’ll be facing.”

One small tendency discovered can lead to a big in-game edge. However, sometimes it just comes down to who is the better player.

“It’s a little bit of instincts, a little bit of certain details,” Landry said. “Sometimes you just have to say ‘I’m better than you’. It’s a little bit of confidence. It’s a lot of different things that all plays a part.”

A second round pick by Miami in 2014, Landry has been a reliable performer. Landry’s 510 career catches for 5,950 yards places him in rare air. He had the most catches ever by a receiver during his first five NFL seasons and most receiving yards (5,512) over his first four years.

Landry will team with former All-Pro Michael Thomas and rookie first round pick Chris Olave to former a formidable Saints trio. Above all else, the health of Thomas after most of the last two seasons have been lost to injury will determine if that plan can come to fruition.

“The way that (Thomas) controls his body, the physical nature that he has, he plays the game like a bullet,” Landry said. “One thing that I admire about him, he’s here everyday, taking care of his body. He’s giving it everything he’s got. He’s still making contact catches even though the coaches want him to be careful. He has mastered how to get open, how to create space. How he runs his routes, the way he needs to run them. Just being a good target for the quarterback. He continues to show greatness.”

Alvin Kamara is another Saints star who evokes the term greatness. The running back is the fastest player in NFL history to reach 3,000 rushing yards (66 games) and only the second player in league history to score six touchdowns in a single game.

“He’s smooth, he’s a leader,” Landry said. “He’s someone out there who I’m learning from. He does things out of the backfield like a receiver. He’ll be in the slot or split out and run routes against DBs or linebackers. He’s a guy who is very versatile and smooth. He brings his hard hat to work everyday. He’s someone that you want on your team.”

Landry has not won a Super Bowl but he believes he’s joined a team capable of taking him there.

“All 32 teams have the same goal,” Landry said. “They all think the same thing. For us, Dennis Allen has done a great job making sure that we take it one day at a time. Everyday, lock in and reset. Hopefully when we look up in February, there is a trophy over our heads.”

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Rene Nadeau


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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to play football at LSU, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in…

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