Bring em’ home!
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more exciting for New Orleans Saints fans after signing New Orleans’ own Tyrann Mathieu, the team made a splash addition with adding another familiar face from the state of Louisiana.
Jarvis “Juice” Landry, a Louisiana high school football and LSU legend is returning home to play for the team he grew up watching as a kid. A move that has sent the city of New Orleans in shambles... in a positive way.
The signing of Landry makes the Saints receiver room the most complete it has been since Thomas, Cooks and Snead were together now 7 years ago. Not only because of his production over the course of his career, but because of the different dynamics the team now has at the position.
The team now has three legitimate threats at the receiver with each providing their own unique skill sets on offense. Michael Thomas is your high volume, big and physical X receiver who is THE guy on your team. Chris Olave, a silky-smooth route runner, who has the speed to beat you deep but can also throttle down in a moment's notice to catch defensive backs (literally) slipping on outs and comeback routes as well. He would be your traditional Z receiver but of course things are interchangeable in this offense.
What does Jarvis Landry bring to the table? A fearless, physical, sure-handed slot guy though excels at any spot on the field. A crafty route runner and a dominant middle of the field target who prides himself on being the toughest, most competitive guy on the field. He is also very versatile and can be moved all over formations set up to either get him the ball in space as he is great at fighting for YAC yards.
Oh yeah... And he can throw the heck out of the football...
Let’s go breakdown some of Landry’s best plays to show why he was the last remaining piece of what could be a juggernaut of a Saints offense.
The role that Landry will be most prominent in within this offense is at slot receiver. A spot the Saints have lacked for the past few seasons. Landry has a great understanding of how to work the middle of the field. Whether it be in man or zone, Landry’s ability to be quarterback friendly and know exactly when to snap his head around for the football is what sticks out to me.
On this play, Landry uses his patience to set up T.J. Watt. As soon as he breaks, Landry knows he is getting the football.
Here, Landry runs a basic (in route) but feels linebacker Patrick Queen forcing him into the coverage. Landry feels exactly this and angles back to the football (quarterback friendly) to set up a 58-yard catch and run.
Another great play. Landry does a fine job of not allowing the linebacker to shield him off and ultimately gets over top of him. Once he does that, he snaps his head around quickly and the ball is right on him.
Now let’s talk about his utilization. It is not talked about as much around the league, but Landry could very well be viewed in a similar fashion as Niners’ Deebo Samuel. Landry has done some of his finest work as a gadget player, who can move the chains from behind the line of scrimmage.
These few plays show the unique ways that you can get Landry the football while still being as productive.
You can tell he is very comfortable having the ball in his hands. Similar to a running backs style of play.
Here is one where he is actually placed at running back.
This type of versatility can allow the Saints to get more creative on offense implementing Landry anyway they can.
Do not get it twisted either. Landry makes a ton of plays outside.
He is not the type to threaten you deep on the perimeter but the precision in his footwork and his superb body control makes up for it every time.
That might sound very similar to number thirteen in which Landry noted their similarities in each other's games during his press conference.
Here you can see how crafty and patient Landry is at the line of scrimmage, really taking his time to set up the Patrick Surtain Jr. Once off the line, Landry finds out he is not going to win deep so he looks early for a back shoulder throw. Landry then gives a last second turn to keep Surtain out of position so he can secure the catch.
Again you can see his patience as he presses the corner up field and then his sudden snap off to create separation.
Landry understands his own game. And that might be his best trait...
The addition of Landry allows Saints fans to take a deep breath and smile. The occurrences of last season at the receiver position will now certainly be a thing of no worries. Having multi-dimensional pieces at receiver with the counterpunch of Alvin Kamara in the backfield should have defensive coordinators sleeping with one eye open. If all goes right at the quarterback position, we could see one of the most explosive Saints offenses that we have seen in quite some time.