CLEVELAND — If Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was going to leave the New York Giants and go to another team, he had one goal: to reunite with his LSU teammate, multi-time Pro Bowl pass catcher Jarvis Landry.
Well, one year after acquiring Landry from the Miami Dolphins, the Browns made that reunion happen when they sent safety Jabrill Peppers and a pair of picks in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Giants in exchange for Beckham Jr.
“This is my guy,” Beckham Jr. said of Landry. “This is everything I ever dreamed of and more. I am just really excited about the opportunity. I can’t lie. I am looking at it, I feel it and I think this is the biggest blessing, especially being able to be here for him.
We used to call each other every, single day, and I know this life gets hard. We go through our ups and downs, and I felt like I couldn’t be there for him all the time, even if it was just by phone call. Now, I can really be there for him. I can be back in his life, and that is something I prayed for. Be careful what you wish for.”
When the Browns acquired Beckham Jr., general manager John Dorsey expected the newest pass catcher would push Landry, who would respond in kind, not only in games, but every day in practice and meetings based on conversations with former LSU coach Les Miles.
Miles was impressed by how Landry and Beckham Jr. would compete in practice, and even afterward, where they perfected the art of making one-handed catches, which has become a staple in their games.
“This reason this all happened is because of him,” Beckham Jr. said. “We would sneak into the facility at midnight and shoot JUGS until 2 a.m. We would be like, ‘Let’s go outside and talk,’ and we would go throw right outside our room, throwing the football back and forth and playing 20 or 21.
“Him throwing the ball as hard as he can at me and you just have to catch it. The worst throws possible, you have to catch it. All the one-handed catches came from him. He started it.”
Landry and Beckham Jr. will be coached with the Browns by wide receivers coach Adam Henry, same man who mentored them at LSU.
“Obviously, I think the thing that makes Adam so special -- we had are times together at LSU -- but he was a part of the recruiting process for me in high school and things like that, so he knows a lot about our lives inside and out,” Landry recalled.
“I would say there are things I guess you can call ‘trigger points’ that makes you reflect on the time, that motivates us to go harder and do more. He knows all of it. Pretty much, he has the leash on the dogs and just let them go.”
And that is music to the ears of quarterback Baker Mayfield, who is very much looking forward to throwing passes to both Landry and Beckham Jr. during the 2019 season.
“Throwing to him and just running routes on air and realizing all of the potential and the talent he has, it is unique,” Mayfield said. “Not many are able to do it. Then you have to LSU Tigers next to each other, and that is a dangerous duo. It is going to be a lot of fun, but it is something you dream about.”