Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry took plenty of heat for what some believe was a dirty hit during Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills.
On a running play, Landry took out safety Aaron Williams in a similar fashion to what the NFL has ruled is illegal for defenders against defenseless receivers.
Bills Twitter called him out after the fact.
After the dust had settled following Miami’s three-point win over its AFC East rival, Dolphins coaches made it clear they aren’t going to ask Landry to change the way he plays.
“Jarvis is a guy who plays right up to the edge,” said special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi, per Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald. “He plays right up to the line.”
Head coach Adam Gase was of a similar mind on the matter, though he did note Jones needs to be sure not to cross that line.
“I’m not going to change the way he plays,” said Dolphins coach Adam Gase. “The taunting penalty, that’s not what I want. … We need to be smarter because we’re losing yards, but I want him to keep bringing his intensity every week.”
The taunting foul Gase is referring to here occurred Sunday when he spun the ball on the ground after the catch, earning a 15-yard penalty.
One of the more productive receivers in the league, Landry has hauled in 46 passes for 572 yards and a touchdown this year. He also tends to play with a bigger chip on his shoulder than the average NFL player, which is what his coaches are alluding to.
He’s the guy who’s always going to be in the thick of things. That’s a rare quality that can help drive players to greatness, but it also must be tempered. It is a quality the scrappy Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Hines Ward possessed as well. He made plenty of plays that mirror what Jones did Sunday against Wilson and was hated by many for it.
Now, if Jones makes a habit of knocking defenders out, he’ll develop a bigger target on his back, much like what we’ve seen with Odell Beckham Jr. With that in mind, he should work hard on keeping a low profile while at the same time retaining his intensity.