A spark can light up a home.
But it can burn it down, too.
And that's the Dolphins’ Catch-22 with Jarvis Landry, their most fiery, emotional player.
“Jarvis is a guy who plays right up to the edge,” said special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi. “He plays right up to the line.”
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The same edge-pushing attitude that can ignite a rally can also turn hazardous.
Just ask Bills safety Aaron Williams. Landry sent Williams to the hospital with neck and head injuries after an illegal high block Sunday.
Landry apologized after the game; a stiff fine from the league is surely on its way.
It won't be the first time. Landry was docked more than $23,000 last year for abusive language toward an official.
Landry has also been flagged three times this year for either unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness. In addition to his shot on Williams, Landry earned a 15-yard taunting penalty for spinning the ball on the Bills' sideline after a catch.
Then there was his fight with LaMichael James in the special-teams meeting room just before the 2015 season opener.
Taken together, it paints an admittedly incomplete picture of Landry as a unique talent who too-often gets out of control.
Dolphins coaches acknowledged Monday that their leading receiver needs to be smarter, both inside the lines and out. And yet, they're not going to tell Landry to stop being the person who made him one of the league's 100 best players.
"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."
Here's why: Gase relies on Landry to do more than catch, run and return the football. He asks him also to set a nasty tone for his team.
A recent example: On the Dolphins' second play from scrimmage against the Steelers two Sundays ago, Landry caught an intermediate pass on first-and-20 and gained 22 yards, but only because, as Gase put it, he "puts his head down and runs three guys over."
Gase added: "Our entire sideline explodes and it sets the tempo for the entire game, that's why he is who he is."
Opposing teams have no problem with that; it’s only an issue when Landry acts outside of the rules and puts other players at risk.
Williams was briefly hospitalized Sunday but ultimately was cleared to fly back to Buffalo with his team.
On Instagram Monday, Williams thanked his family, friends, teammates and fans for their thoughts and prayers, but did not directly address the high block that knocked him from the game.
"We go through bumps and bruises through life but for me I know I can trust in Him to guide me through tough times like these, just like how He has done for me in the past," Williams wrote.
Bills center Eric Wood, meanwhile, called Landry's hit "garbage" after the game.
Gase said the speed with which Williams came up on Landry contributed to hit, but added that his receiver has "got to lower his target zone."
"I know the way Jarvis plays, it's going to be aggressive, it's going to be intense," Gase added. "For anybody to kind of start thinking, 'dirty play,' and things like that, I've been around the guys for less than a year. I haven't seen that from him. I've see a guy who when we coach him up on things, tries to do things the right way."
As for Landry's taunting flag, officials had a surreal explanation Sunday: If he simply had spun the football away from the Bills bench and not toward it, Landry would not have been penalized.
"I love the way Jarvis plays the game, quite frankly," Rizzi said. "I wouldn't mind having 46 Jarvis Landry's out there, with his intensity, his preparation, his enthusiasm and all of those things. Can we afford those 15-yard penalties? No. We can't. But that's not just Jarvis. That's a team-wide thing."
Rizzi added: "We want the guys playing up to the edge, we want guys playing up to the line. But it's a fine line crossing over it and costing your team."