Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jarvis Landry embracing opportunity in return game


The Miami Dolphins enjoy solid depth at the wide receiver position. For standout rookie wideout Jarvis Landry, that means carving out a substantial role in his first year will likely require contributions in areas other than offense.

To give him a chance to do that, the team has been giving Landry a tryout as a kick returner, something the second round pick from LSU did just eight times at the collegiate level.

While some high draft picks might shy away from special teams, Landry is not only willing, but outwardly enthusiastic about potentially using his talents in the return game.

“I love it," Landry said of the opportunity, according to the team's website. "For me it’s one of those things that I embrace. It’s one of those things that I only had in college for a while. I’m real into special teams. Wherever the team needs me, I’ll play."

It's easy to see the attitude that has helped endear him to the Miami coaching staff so quickly, but it's a bonus to see that he has the skills to go along with it: Landry broke a punt return for 48 yards in last Friday's preseason opener against the Atlanta Falcons.

“The other day was a start," Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi said. "When he gets the ball in his hands he’s a dangerous guy. He’s got a very good first step. He did a very good job of getting north and south the other night and not wasting a lot of time."

Landry's emergence could have roster implications beyond the wide receiver position. According to the Miami Herald, Marcus Thigpen, whose primary position the past two seasons has been return specialist, could become expendable if Landry can capably do the task.

The rookie still has nuances of the role to learn, but the Dolphins must at least be excited by Landry's potential versatility.

"So far, so good," Rizzi said.

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